Just how important is innovation? Well, let’s look at it this way. It’s the reason we’re able to write this article online, on a computer. Before the digital age, you’d be reading this article on paper. Even the humble pen or pencil are examples of innovation. We often take the idea of innovation for granted. That’s why the United Nations’ World Creativity and Innovation Day, celebrated every year on April 21, shines light on the inventive and the creative. From artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development, innovation has helped shape the world we live in today and will continue to do so. We take a look at how World Creativity and Innovation Day is being celebrated this year, what benefits innovation can bring to a business, and how companies can foster a culture around it.
International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development,2021
The International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, this year’s World Creativity and Innovation Day theme, looks at how the creative industries are critical to the globe’s sustainable development agenda. Did you know that the creative economy delivers a three percent contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP)? A UNESCO report on culture and sustainable development also showed that the creative and cultural industries generate $2.25 billion in revenue and 29.5 million jobs worldwide. As stated by UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, creative industries stimulate innovation and diversification, support entrepreneurship, contribute to cultural diversity and are an important factor in the burgeoning services sector. The International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development emphasises the need to highlight sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation, provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all, and respect for all human rights.
Innovation in the workplace
According to a McKinsey Global Survey, 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ growth strategy. It’s important to realise that innovation doesn’t just come from one particular business or company department. Those in human resources are just as likely to create change through innovation as those in research and development. The key is being able to foster a culture of innovation throughout an entire workplace, not just in separate departments. This can be achieved by having dedicated set days or hours in the workplace to innovation. Breakout sessions in small teams with a particular question or task in mind can be a great way to inspire innovative minds. Some companies even have rooms or areas dedicated to innovation, where individuals or groups can brainstorm ideas in a space conducive to creativity.
● Igniting creativity is a sure way to keep employees motivated and inspired. Those without the ability to express ideas or solutions can become disengaged, impacting the workplace culture and ultimately the morale of staff.
● Innovative companies are able to adapt more quickly to changes in their industry.
● New, quality products or services through innovation lead to greater competitiveness.
● Innovative gains can lead to greater brand awareness and value.
Should you want to learn more about World Creativity and Innovation Day, you can visit The United Nation's website here.