There isn’t a well-charted course from inspiration to implementation. Other fields — such as physics, biology, math, and music — have a huge advantage when it comes to teaching those topics. They have clearly defined terms and a taxonomy of relationships that provide a structured approach for mastering these skills. That’s exactly what we need in entrepreneurship. Without it, there’s dogged belief that these skills can’t be taught or learned.
- Imagination is envisioning things that do not exist.
- Creativity is applying imagination to address a challenge.
- Innovation is applying creativity to generate unique solutions.
- Entrepreneurship is applying innovation, bringing ideas to fruition, by inspiring others’ imagination.
This is a virtuous cycle: Entrepreneurs manifest their ideas by inspiring others’ imagination, including those who join the effort, fund the venture, and purchase the products. This model is relevant to startups and established firms, as well as innovators of all types where the realization of a new idea — whether a product, service, or work of art — results in a collective increase in imagination, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
- Imagination requires engagement and the ability to envision alternatives.
- Creativity requires motivation and experimentation to address challenges.
- Innovation requires focusing and reframing to generate unique solutions.
- Entrepreneurship requires persistence and the ability to inspire others.