What is the difference between Creativity, Innovation and Invention? Can creativity be taught?

There are a plethora of definitions for the words Creativity and Innovation. I’ve listened to people using these words, which imply a limited meaning that possibly inhibits a comprehensive understanding of the whole meaning of these words. Even the legendary CEO of GE, Jack Welsh, uses the word Innovation to imply continuous improvement! More on his comments on Innovation here. He seems to be right on track though, when he says that Innovation should be done by every employee, subtly implying that it should be part of the organization culture.

Booz-Allen & Hamilton – New Products Management

This is where PDMA brings clarity to the word Innovation by calling it as NPD. Robert Cooper takes this definition further by suggesting that NPD has varying degree of newness that can be grouped into A) New to the Market and B) New to the Company. Booz-Allen & Hamilton study on New Products Management for the 1980s captures this degree of newness in NPD (Innovation) as shown in the figure. From the figure (lower-left half) , we infer that more than two-thirds of Innovation that happens in organizations across the world is incremental or what I call as Delta innovations. This is what I believe Jack Welsh is talking about. But, thanks to PDMA’s definition of Innovation as NPD, there is more to the meaning of Innovation (the other half in the figure)!

To bring clarity to these two words viz., Creativity and Innovation, along with their types, we have published two FREE online courses viz.,  CRFSS and NPDFPSS.