Is Creativity & Innovation enough?

I just finished reading Chase Jarvis‘ post titled “Creativity alone is not enough“.

In this article, Chase argues that Creativity isn’t enough for people working in the creative world (photographers, designers, etc).  Jarvis argues that creative folks need to embrace other mindsets (such as being different, brilliant and innovative) to be successful. According to Jarvis, The key to success in the future for creatives is innovative thinking.

But what is innovation?

To me, Innovation is ‘creating something new’. This ‘newness’ can be built upon something old, but it is a new implementation of the old that is innovative.

Jarvis describes it this way:

it’s hard to say what innovation is. But if I can’t say exactly what it is, I most certainly know what it is not. It doesn’t look or sound at all like the status quo.


Innovation is not the status quo.

The act of innovating is the act of moving away from the status quo.

Then why is there so much status quo around if innovation is the buzzword of the last few years?

I can’t really say….some people blame the recession.  Me?  I blame organizations.  I blame the herd mentality that exists in most organizations today that doesn’t allow individuals’s ideas and creativity to flow.

Sure there are those companies that are innovative and creative (think Apple and Google) but why can we only think of a handful of ‘innovative’ companies (Fast Company lists the Fast 50 – the 50 most innovative companies).    50 out of how many thousands and thousands of companies in this world?

Why so little true innovation?  Is it because it’s hard?  Maybe.  Is it because innovation is risky? Perhaps.

But…from my experience, innovation is difficult because people don’t realize that the status quo (i.e., what you are doing today) isn’t enough to keep you where you are or get you where you want to be.

So…Is Creativity & Innovation enough?


You’ve got to add a little chutzpa (four year of blogging and I FINALLY got to use that word!). Take some risk. Do something bold and daring.

I’ve been hearing the cliche ‘move the needle‘ an awful lot around the workplace lately.   Every project is measured against whether it will ‘move the needle’ or not. Although no guidance is given on what that needle is measuring. I can move the needle all day long with small un-risky projects that don’t do anything to change the status quo.  Or…I can break the damn needle off and move the organization. Which do you want to do?  Move the needle…or move the organization?

With a little creativity and innovative thinking added to a little sprinkling of courage, you’ll make a positive and lasting change in your life, organization and in this world.

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