Alla Tkachuk FRSA explores the power of creativity in business to bring change and argues that there is no innovation without creativity.
Creativity in business
Creativity means generating novel ideas. In business, however, the novelty is not enough: the ideas need to be practical. Bringing novel and practical ideas into marketplace is innovation. It emerges from both technological and non-technological knowledge and impacts on all activities of a company. Innovation is creativity in business.
Leveraging creativity in business is at the heart of a robust economic growth and productivity. According to the World Economic Forum, “around 85% of productivity gains are related to investments in innovation. Innovation is now as important as infrastructure, skills and markets. In light of the current economic slowdown, companies must resist the pressure to cut back on innovation spending as it is critical to the future growth.”  Creativity is essential to long-term business success.
The surge of innovation is fuelled by the two main economic factors: the rate of new technological inventions and high demand for customised products and services. In 21st century, the rate of technological inventions “will be 1000 times more than in the 20th century”.  Companies have to continuously adapt to satisfy consumers with better goods, quality and prices.
Profits are the goal of innovation. Renewal of products and services, operation models and marketing methods - all impact on shareholder value.
The essence of creativity in business is to bring change whether it is radical or incremental.Radical innovations − those that transform the way we live and work − lead to a long-term competitive edge. Gradual modifications drive short-term sales. Companies should target the innovation strategy that suits them best. If a company is on a tight budget, or a problem surfaces late in project, a moderate approach is more fitting. If a company needs to solve a reoccurring problem, a more radical approach should be considered. Not all changes are innovation, however. Change for the sake of change should be avoided
Creativity in business always hasconsumers in mind. Successful companies understand their customers' 'unmet needs' often better than customers themselves.
Drivers of innovation
While creativity is a natural human activity, in the context of business it needs to be planned and managed. Yet, companies are often at a loss about the innovation know-how. According to leading business surveys , more than 50% of chief executives are only 'moderately successful' at planning and managing innovation and 40% 'are not good' at it at all. It is not surprising that most innovation efforts fail, disengaging employees and costing money.
Learning how to manage innovation is key to making the innovation process more timely and dependable, less risky and unpredictable. This is the step by step approach that relies on understanding problem-stating strategies, targeting the right innovation tactics, and building creative teams that generate and evaluate new and practical ideas.
As well as the innovation managing skills, harnessing companies’ success through creativity and innovationdemands creative leaders, creative workforce, innovation culture, and effective governmental policies.
Creative leaders drive innovation: they are the champions of change to whom companies look for creative solutions. Leaders who lack creativity fail their organisations and deliver them to competitors.
Creative workforce is the number one organisational practice of successful innovation: companies must know how to train, recruit and retain creative employees.
Innovation culture is the prerequisite of innovation. This is the work environment that motivates the generation and implementation of new ideas.
And, finally, the governmental policies that stimulate institutional research and creativity of the future workforce ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of innovation.
Alla Tkachuk MSc FRSA develops effective training programmes that harness companies’ success through creativity and innovation, firstname.lastname@example.org
 The WEF The Global Competitiveness Report 2016/17
 Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transend Biology, 2005
 The Business Council CEOs survey, The Conference Board, 2006, Troy, Kathryn L., Making Innovation Work: From Strategy to Practice, The Conference Board, 2004; Andrew, James P., Innovation 2005, Boston Consulting Group, 2005; Andrew, James P., Innovation 2006, Boston Consulting Group, 2006; Andrew, James P., Measuring Innovation 2006, Boston Consulting Group, 2006