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Creativity and Innovation in the Work Environment

Maria Carmen Tavares Cristovão, Master in Innovation Management, Educational Executive, and Consultant in Educational Innovation for the magazine “Linha Direta”

Maria Carmen Tavares Christóvão – Master in Innovation Management, Educational Executive, and Educational Consultant in Innovation for the magazine Linha Direta

Creativity and innovation in times of technological advances are the main tools of humans for their professional and economic development. Creation and Innovation are concepts that are often confused, yet they are totally different.

Creativity can be defined as a mental process that allows the generation of ideas. At the same time, innovation is related as the actual application of such ideas put into practice to achieve goals efficiently and effectively. So the role of creativity is to generate ideas, and the implementation of those ideas is what generates innovation.

In the field of the Administration Teresa Amábile defines creativity from the identification and observation of its product, defending this form of verification as the most relevant for administration.

Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian economist at Harvard University, considered by the academic scientist as the father of innovation, says that the reason why the economy moves out of a state of equilibrium and is in the process of expansion is related to the emergence of some innovation that considerably alters the preconditions for equilibrium.

Examples of innovations that change the state of equilibrium are related to the introduction of a new good, product or service in the market, the discovery of a new method of production or commercialization of goods, the conquest of new sources of raw material, or even the market structure as we have seen in the last decades. In all the lectures we have repeatedly heard the cases of Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, University 42, among other examples that have brought disruptive innovations to the market.

In describing the evolution of the technological stages and the permanent industrial mutation as a force of creative destruction, Schumpeter anticipated that technology destroys at the same time that it creates.

Innovation does not only mean intentional disruption, but incremental innovation relies on continuous improvement processes characterized by a quest for constant and gradual improvement.

Innovation can occur through a perfectly planned action as by mere chance. However, empirically it is found that few innovations spring from chance. Most innovations, especially the most successful ones, result from a conscious and intentional search for opportunities to innovate.

An environment conducive to creativity can become a barn of innovation. In the same way, one must understand creativity as a process that can also be systematized as part of a culture of innovation within companies.

Although the initial concepts for creativity are linked to the arts and aesthetics, what we will call Pure Creativity, an approach that is linked to the development of human capital, or Applied Creativity, is currently adopted. Discussions about creativity are mainly linked to the business world. Creative people are seen as the necessary resource to meet and win markets.

Creativity is a competence that differs from individual to individual only in degree. Creative skills can be developed through deliberate interventions during the process of formation and development or in the face of everyday experiences that generate inspiration. It is a lifelong process. Thus, it is not enough for the individual to go through a moment of empowerment or receive instruction to develop more fully his creative potential.

In this context it is necessary to think of the space of formation as an environment that values ​​and cultivates creativity. It is in the professional’s capacity to think new things, to create and generate new ideas and concepts or new associations between existing ideas and concepts, which are usually produced new and original solutions and events.

Applied Creativity is a term used by experts to refer to innovation. Waisburd (2009) and Vivanco (2009) defines it when a creative idea brings contribution, is recognized and incorporated to the organization impacting its context, generating new answers.

Based on this affirmation the theme of this reflection summons the concept of the exploration of creativity in the business environment and the influence that the creative practices exert in the future of the organizations. This factor is due to the fact that, like the school and the university, the company is also an environment whose driving force is potentially significant for the development of society, therefore conducive to the exploitation of human potential and the implementation of a complex work of mental and emotional stimulation that contributes to the formation of a more creative profile.

Thus, Creativity and Innovation, its most constant partner, is also a technical competence to be learned. Individuals and creative teams during their trajectory carry the investigative gaze, the restlessness, the questioning, the purposeful thinking, the solving and fulfilling actions. The enterprise should host situations for the development of such skills.

The way to innovate in business spaces is confused with the way of living everyday in learning environments where experiences must be studied, shared and learned, both in their territories of freer expression and those of more utilitarian expression, interpenetrate and assist in energy, in the constitutive vision of the innovation process.