What it takes to be creative and innovative



By Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP

Mexico City, Mexico



Innovation and creativity

Innovation and creativity are topics in vogue; everybody seems to be somehow interested in being creative and innovative. With so many examples such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, it seems like innovation is a gift and that becoming the next king of the new invention comes naturally and comfortably. The truth is that no matter how easy the innovation process appears to be or is presented in front of our eyes, there is a story behind every product, service, or leader that has transform life as we know it.

Innovation implies the adoption of a new idea, new procedure or behavior, or a mix of all elements described. Innovation can be put in place from different angles, such as technical innovations that include a new process and new products or services, or administrative changes referring to new procedures, policies, and organizational forms according to Jiménez. For any organization, innovation represents the opportunity not only to grow and survive but also to influence the direction of the industry significantly. Innovation is not only a weapon in competitive markets, but it can also turn out into social change or social entrepreneurship, says Davila et al.

Project managers find very fertile land to manage innovation projects; one way is helping the business growing; another way is supporting the community and social changes.

Creativity, on the other hand, “according to expert Michalko, is not an accident, not genetically determined. It is not a result of some easily learned magic trick or secret, but a consequence of your intention to be creative and your determination to learn and use creative thinking strategies.” Following it will be presented ways to learn how to be more innovative and how to incorporate into project management practice.

The source of innovation comes from different paths

Hard-working in a specific direction. – Innovators select a problem to focus all their attention and energy to solve, pass much time thinking in several solutions or possibilities to resolve their issues, and when they have this instinct, then start the experimental phase. “The majority of innovations come from dedicated people in a field working hard to solve a well-defined problem, asserts Berkun.” Innovate in our daily projects will also require a focus on common problems and how certain aspects can be improved.

The shift in the first direction – Often innovators could become stubborn enough to what they want to accomplish, and its resilience makes them work almost restlessness. However, when the first direction seems far away, and they “discover” something useful in the middle of their way, they start analyzing if this invention can be helpful for others. This way, while working in pursuing original idea can turn into something exciting and practical to use. Project managers by nature can sometimes be stubborn; however, it is essential to be flexible enough to understand that in the way of trying to solve a problem, the solution can emerge.

Curiosity – This motivator is like an internal motor; this innate need to know everything, to be curious about the world around us, how things are made, how things can be undone, and the challenge of trying to re-build some items with old pieces. Curiosity comes for the urge to know something new, passing the time, or just having fun. This way, many things have been discovered or invented, as creativity can be unlimited for a curious mind. Curiosity becomes an essential driver not only for innovation but also for understanding context, relations, and complexity involved in the project environment.

Wealth and money – Another source of innovation is located on the opposite spectrum. People that feel the need for recognition or power or both. This is often the case where what they are searching for is more related to status and money rather than creating and building something new. Some examples in history came for people more skilled in business or entrepreneurship rather than the genius that wanted to solve problems.



To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article:  How to cite this article: Larios, A. (2020). What it takes to be creative and innovative, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/pmwj93-May2020-Larios-what-it-takes-to-be-creative-and-innovative.pdf



About the Author


Angelica Larios

Mexico City, Mexico


Angelica Larios, MBA, PMP, is a project manager with more than 20 years of experience in implementing software projects related to business intelligence, planning and budgeting, and financial consolidation solutions based on software applications to support the business decision process. She is the owner of ALACONTEC, an I.T. consulting company founded in Latin America. She has held several professional positions in private and public organizations, such as the Health Ministry in Mexico as I.T. director, and as a business manager for several firms in Mexico.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). In addition to her studies in project management and her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which have helped her to consolidate her career and have a better understanding of what businesses and projects need nowadays. She is a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Regent University, VA. She is a volunteer since 2007, starting in the local Mexico chapter, being Past President and in several positions within PMI (CMAG, BVAC) and currently serves on the Ethics Member Advisory Group (EMAG) that supports the PMI Global Operations (2018–2020).

Angelica can be contacted at angelica.larios@gmail.com