CREATIVITY without innovation will impact the competitiveness and performance of an organisation.
This is the message from Robert Weisz, one of the leading professors in organisational behaviour and organisational development in France.
Advocating the importance of innovation, the professor at IAE Aix-en-Provence, University of Aix-Marseille, says: “Innovation is not creativity and vice-versa. Creativity involves the generation of new ideas, whereas innovation is how a company or an ad agency makes a difference in a market.”
Fresh talents or graduates who are joining the advertising industry are usually under the impression that the industry revolves solely around creativity, he tells StarBizWeek in an interview in Petaling Jaya. This is not the case, he adds, noting that some beautiful ideas are not impactful without the element of innovation.
For an ad agency, for example, creative leaders should not be too rigid in solely focusing on creativity but rather have to incorporate innovation in their work.
While creativity is important, being innovative and doing things in a different way from the competitors is the way to succeed, he adds.
Weisz says ad agencies should at the same time be both local and global to know what will make an idea or a product relevant and also different.
While acknowledging that competitors may imitate an idea or a product of an ad agency that is innovative, he says the way forward to succeed is to continuously strive to be different by exploring new ideas. “On the multitude of new ideas, an agency needs to have at least a minimum of one or two innovations on board,” he notes.
Weisz was one of the instructors who were here in Malaysia for the Advanced Leadership Programme and The Navigator Programme recently organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) in collaboration with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.
There are cases where innovation can be based on past ideas, he says, adding that in the area of fashion for example, past trends can be recycled for the present time.
Malaysian companies including ad agencies should therefore continue to strive for excellence by investing in innovation as this will enable them to compete in the global market, he says.
For the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he urges such companies to either intensify their investments in innovation or to merge with other players to facilitate innovation.
Weisz, besides authoring and co-authoring several books on management, work organisation, communication under stress, leadership and others, has also conducted management training workshops for large international companies including Alcatel, BASF, Bouygues, Club-Méditerranée, Deloitte & Touche, Eurocopter and ING.
The Advanced Leadership Programme is a senior-level executives workshop designed in collaboration with Astro and the 4As. This programme uses a dynamic mix of educational workshops, lectures, real-life case studies and self-assessment exercises to help improve skills essential for effective decision making and leading change with in creative organisations.