Creativity and Innovation Knowledge Model
The first step, before introducing the “Knowledge Model of Innovation” concept is to distinguish the meaning of terms Creativity, Innovation and Invention.
- The creativity concept, is known as ability of creating something new, either a new idea, concept or method.
- Innovation refers to creation of value and development of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, team or organization, etc., by using creativity to enhance their performance.
We have to pay attention, to the term Invention, that differs from innovation and generally it signifies a substantial positive change compared to incremental changes in reference to state of the art. In other words, creativity is necessary as prerequisite to develop innovation, but innovation requires more than one skill: having a good idea it easy with creativity or fortune, it more and more difficult to put it into practice (making innovation)!
The “Stress-Performance” Curve development
To understand how developing a Knowledge Model of Innovation, we may to consider the “Stress/Performance Curve”, that relates the rate of mental concentration (positive stress) with our rate of performance (i.e. in making a job). If an activity is easy and it not requires much attention, our performance are at minimum. In a normal work, we are committed, trying to do best we can: normal stress/normal performance up to our maximum.
Fig.2.17 – The “Stress-Performance”Curve: the Creativity Area
Happens to everyone, at least once in his life, some event that makes us able to have very high level of performance, much more of our normal references, without feeling the stress. In that case, we amazed and we ask ourselves why? The answer is simple: we have had an high emotional involvement, an high passion level in making that job, so we did it without realizing it.
One may think that it necessary to be a genius to work with high level of performance without stress… This seems to be completely wrong. In fact, a genius is in some way like a fool, unreliable and out of a normal work scenario. We must think that it exist a category of persons that is able to have high performance without stress: they are children when they are playing!
So, when we are working with the enthusiasm and passion of child, we are able to have naturally high performance. Naturally, in the “Creativity Area” of Stress-Performance Curve (Fig. 2.16, Fig.2.17), for children “Creativity” means “Fantasy”; for adult it means “Fantasy + Concreteness”.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Confucius)
In the Fig. 2.18 we can see about the evolution of the innovation concept , from the linear model having R&D as the starting point, to the systemic model in which innovation arises from complex interactions (scenario) between individuals, organizations and their operating environments, it demonstrates that innovation policies and practices, must extend their focus beyond the link with research.
Business innovation involves a wide spectrum of original concepts, including development of new business models, organizational innovation, business application of technology and communications, new management techniques, environmental efficiency, new forms of stakeholder participation, transport and finance.
To put into practice Creativity developing Innovation, we need to refer to right scenario of skills, organization, management. Different scenarios give different outcomes in terms of Innovation.
For example, (Fig. 2.18) if we consider as innovation basic components “Creative Chaos” (work approach) and “Guide of Structure” (management), we have the following scenarios:
- a) DREAM: Strong creative chaos x Weak guiding structure
- b) CONVEYOR: Weak creative chaos x Strong Guiding structure
- c) JAZZ: Strong creative chaos x Strong guiding structure
Fig.2.18 – Innovation scenario
The new knowledge-based economy, combined with an increase in highly capable global competition, demands a renewed emphasis on innovation.
This new economy is led by those who innovate – create, find and/or combine knowledge into new products, services, and distribution methods – faster than their competitors.
Innovation is above all spurred by entrepreneurial action, aimed at creating value through the application of knowledge.
“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” (Peter F. Drucker)
“Without order nothing can exist – without chaos nothing can evolve.“ – (Vadim Kotelnikov) 
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” (A. Einstein)
Until recently, innovation has been seen principally as the means to turn research results into commercially successful products, but not all research leads to innovation and not all innovation is research-based.