Innovation vs. Creativity

In our work with companies on innovation, we regularly remind them that creativity and innovation are not the same thing. Creativity is about new ideas, innovation is about taking new ideas and DOING something with them. In our experience, most companies do not lack for creativity, they lack for innovation. Usually because they can’t choose between the many ideas they have, and mistakenly believe they can implement more than they can. Or, simply because they fail to execute.

I was reminded of this today while reading an article about Yahoo in the San Jose Mercury. The article quotes a former executive, “Yahoo has a ton of great and innovative ideas, but the execution is the problem.”

While some may feel Yahoo’s time has passed, and this may be true, it is not because of some cruel external fate. It is because they were sitting on the side of the road discussing how much better a car they could create.


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