I take this opportunity to share the following easy-to-understand definitions from Gerald Haman, the creative brain behind the award-winning KnowBrainer & innovation tools:
[He is also the founder of SolutionPeople®, developer of the Chicago Thinkubator®, adjunct professor of innovation at Northwestern University, editor of InnovatorsDigest.com and creator of the InnovationToolofTheMonthClub.com. He is recognized by clients as “Solutionman”, because of his ability to quickly help people develop breakthrough solutions.]
It appears that many people are more comfortable talking about innovation than creativity. Their discomfort in talking about creativity may be rooted in the perception that that creativity is just fun and games. However, creativity is necessary for innovation to occur.
Creative thinking yields the ideas that fill the pipeline of innovation. Innovation cannot happen without the energy generated by creativity.
Haman's definition also has makes a subtle, yet important distinction between IDEAS and SOLUTIONS.
Creativity produces the ideas and once they yield value or profit, they become solutions.
Below is Haman's other "creative" definition to help people define the relationship between creativity and innovation.