Using Creativity to Unlock Innovation

Innovation is something that corporations strive to acquire and harness, particularly during this era of change. However, in order to achieve breakthrough innovative growth, corporations must understand the importance of how imagination and creativity lead to innovation, according to a speaker at The Plumb Club Forum @FIT.

Sir Ken Robinson, an international expert in the field of creativity, said on March 2 that those in leadership positions often don’t respect real creative ideas and people with strong imaginations, during his presentation, “Unlocking Creativity—Finding the Right Key to Success.” In fact, most people, he said, don’t equate creativity with intelligence, which is wrong. 

The forum was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology March 2 and 3. Its objective is to define and spearhead an educational agenda for the jewelry industry, benefiting Plumb Club members and the industry at large.

“So many people disregard the imagination, demean it, or forget they have it,” he said. “You can’t have innovation without imagination.

“Imagination brings to mind things that come to our senses,” he said. “As soon as you have the power—the power to bring to the mind things that have never existed. That power is what creativity brings.
 
He continued, “Creativity is putting your imagination to work. It is a practical process. It’s an output—the process of having original ideas that have value.” However, he added, “Not all originality has value.” That’s where innovation comes in

“Innovation,” he said, “is testing ideas and putting them to work.”

He told audience members to challenge the things they take for granted. “The things we think that are obvious are actually the problem.”

One of those things taken for granted in society is that creativity and intelligence are considered two different things. Robinson argues that they are connected.

He also believes that educational system in the developed world stunts creativity.

“The right brain has the capacity,” he said. “It diminishes as they (students) get older. It is not developed. … These capacities are neutered.”

He added, “Schools prevent it and discourage it. People are not rewarded to think differently.”

He argued that the species that produced Hamlet as well as every aspect of culture on Earth has the imagination and creativity to find innovative solutions to the drastically business environment.

“Intelligence is incredibly diverse, incredibly dynamic,” he said. “Your intelligence is distinct to you.”

Because intelligence is unique he challenged business leaders at the forum to assess “the real intelligence of your organization,” and to create diverse organizations.

“You need people who think differently,” he said. “Having a homogenous organization is not a good basis for a creative organization. Real innovation happens through great creative teams.”

He said that organizations with no idea of its talent pool will struggle.