One of the Objectives of the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Akron is to foster a climate of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship throughout the University.
"Being creative is seeing the same thing as everybody else, but thinking of something different"
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." quote Mary Lou Cook.
“Creativity is one’s mental ability and curiosity to discover something new”
There are many aspects to creativity, but one definition would include the ability to take existing objects and combine them in different ways for new purposes. For example, Gutenberg took the wine press and the die/punch and produced a printing press. Thus, a simple definition of creativity is the action of combining previously uncombined elements. From art, music and invention to household chores, this is part of the nature of being creative. Another way of looking at creativity is by playing with the way things are interrelated. Creativity is the ability to generate novel and useful ideas and solutions to everyday problems and challenges.
Creativity involves the translation of our unique gifts, talents and vision into an external reality that is new and useful. We must keep in mind that creativity takes place unavoidably inside our own personal, social, and cultural boundaries.
The more we define our creativity by identifying with specific sets of values, meanings, beliefs and symbols, the more our creativity will be focused and limited; the more we define our creativity by focusing on how values, meanings, beliefs and symbols are formed, the greater the chance that our creativity will become less restricted.
In the creative process there are always two different (but interrelated) dimensions or levels of dynamics with which one can create:
There is no one definition of creativity that everyone can agree with. Creativity researchers, mostly from the field of psychology, usually claim that being creative means being novel and appropriate. Subsumed under the appropriateness criterion are qualities of fit, utility, and value.
Innovation is a process that begins with an invention and results in the introduction of a new product, process, or service to the marketplace (Edwards and Gordon, 1984).
Innovation is thinking creatively about something that already exists (e.g., the tape recorder, Walkman, and CD player are all innovations on the phonograph). Invention is creating something that did not exist before (e.g. the phonograph). A business example illustrates the difference clearly. When a team bases its plans on the way the team has operated in the past, they are open only to innovation, such as increasing efficiency. However, a team that is inventive will ask itself: Can we create a different way to operate, one that will produce a different way of doing business?
Webster’s dictionary defines entrepreneurship as the activity of organizing, managing, and assuming the risks of a business enterprise.
The University of Akron’s Entrepreneurship Program treats entrepreneurship as more of an opportunity seeking behavior. It is an attitude that can be taught and used in any “for profit” or “non-profit” organization, not just for starting a business. Whether you are interested in starting a business, buying a franchise or small business, expanding your current business, working for a large corporation or a small fast growth company, working for your family business or working in a non profit organization, studying entrepreneurship, you will be one step ahead of the competition. Why?
Entrepreneurship allows you to gain knowledge and skills which will be extremely useful in the marketplace. These include marketing, negotiations, finance, relationship building, law, management, accounting, and creativity). How can you measure whether someone is a successful entrepreneur? You need to look at what that individual is currently doing. How are they using their knowledge and skills? Are they utilizing all of the possible sources of information (e.g., advisory board, SBDC, SCORE) which will assist them in the marketplace? Are they making an impact where they are working? Are they coming up with new ideas/opportunities? New markets? New ways to cut costs? New products?