Improvisation vs Innovation: Which is Better for Business?

improvisation vs innovation
Photo by Kvalifik on Unsplash

Companies that innovate fast are most successful, and innovation calls for new approaches of questioning and operating. The distinguishing function of innovative groups is the fluid, improvisational manner that they pass among activities. There is little argument amongst commercial enterprise leaders about the significance of innovation.

The purpose is to convey the thoughts of human beings collectively and offer room for them to construct upon one another’s thoughts. While the manner we work has improved and has emerged as greater in fluidity, improvisation can enhance innovation in companies. There are positive situations you want to have in the area to get the innovative enhancement that businesses are searching for. Without them, the improvisation which could be carried out might also harm innovation ability.

There must be a balance between the two concepts and for that balance, certain strategies should be maintained. These include high expertise, high teamwork competencies, high experimental culture, and real-time internal data and communique.

What is Improvisation? A Concept in Business

Innovation is about challenging current approaches to doing things, asking tough questions, and questioning differently. It means bringing the people collectively within the proper area on time and allowing them to be innovative. Improvisation can construct listening skills, make stronger collaboration, boost your agility, assist to manipulate tough conversations, enhance vital storytelling abilities, expand trust, rapport, and confidence.
innovation nuggets
Before getting into the comparison and why improvisation abilities are vital in innovation, we need to know what is improvisation? Improvisation is demonstrating resourcefulness, knowledge, and ingenuity to clear up a complicated scenario with something easy in the hour of want. Innovation and improvisation are a collective team sport and with both concepts, businesses can win and be successful together.

Improvisation Tools which can boost Innovation Faster

The capacity to innovate and swiftly reply to adjustments in the commercial enterprise surroundings is crucial to competitiveness and success. Creativity and trouble-fixing abilities are key factors in enhancing the consequences in tasks that require innovation.

Iterative improvement, improvisation, and experimentation blended with attention and versatility are needed to be aware of, for new commercial enterprise possibilities and successfully execute tasks. But commercial enterprise demands additional efficiency, and plenty of businesses pursue disciplined control and product improvement practices that emphasize standardization and consistency to assist costs. They want to give you answers that won’t be deliberate or formerly diagnosed, adapt the assignment, and plan accordingly.

In fast-paced and modern environments, groups must be empowered to make selections locally, be knowledgeable and ready to take risks, and now no longer overly worry about failure. This will assist them to lessen uncertainty faster and successfully examine from their experiences.

innovation vs improvisation
Photo by Riccardo Annandale

Improvisation can be a Risky Concept in Business

The business should provide control practices and equipment that facilitate improvisation. It is also noted that business groups with more improvisation traits have been much more likely to apply agile approaches, strategies, and equipment. Improvisation can foster trouble fixing, creativity, and innovation, and turn into a demand for lots of businesses.

Improvisation may appear to be spontaneous and intuitive to actually call for the improvement of planned procedures and competencies. Businesses operating in dynamic, fast-paced, and noticeably modern task-based environments must expand competencies to create surroundings with a view to decorate a business group’s improvisation process.

Some Innovations and How They Came About

“Inventing is a combination of brains & materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need.” – Charles Kettering, American inventor, businessman, & the holder of 186 patents.

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

Inventor – The Kellogg brothers, John & Will.
Inspiration – After a pot of boiled grain was accidentally left on the stove for several days, the mixture turned moldy but the product that emerged was dry & thick. The brothers eliminated the mold part, creating corn flakes.


Inventor – Kimberly-Clark Company
Inspiration – Developing creped wadding for its first-ever consumer product, Kotex, the manufacturer changed the ingredient blends & using different pulps, were able to make a softer crepe. From this, the idea of Kleenex facial tissue was born.


Inventor – cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson, Earle Dickson
Inspiration – His wife Josephine Dickson was always cutting her fingers in the kitchen while preparing food. Earle decided to invent something that would stay in place & protect small wounds better.


Inventor – Walter Frederick Morrison
Inspiration – He & his girlfriend tossed the circular lid of a popcorn tin around in the backyard to pass time before Thanksgiving dinner.


Inventor – George de Mestral
Inspiration – Fed up with removing cocklebur seeds from his dog & jacket, he put one under a microscope to discover the secret of its stickiness. He found velours (French for loops, in clothing) & crochets (hooks) on the burs. Taking the first syllables of the words, he replicated the fastening phenomenon synthetically to create Velcro.


Inventor – Naval engineer, Richard Jones.
Inspiration – He was working with tension springs when one fell to the ground. That spring kept bouncing from place to place after it hit the ground, & the slinky was born.


Inventor – 3M designer,  Art Fry
Inspiration – Frustrated by errant hymnbook page markers at choir practice, he realized the need for a low-tack sticky note. Applying 3M’s weak glue invention to yellow paper, the Post-It was born.

Under Armour

Inventor: Kevin Plank, football player for U of Maryland
Inspiration: Noticing that the cotton T-shirts he & his teammates wore underneath their pads were always soaked & heavy with sweat, he felt that there must be some better material out there for their specific needs.


Inventor: Sara Blakely
Inspiration: One night before going out, to eliminate the “grid butt” created by regular underwear, she cut the feet off of her pantyhose to wear under tight-fitting white slacks.


Inventor – Scott Seamans, George B. Boedecker Jr., Lyndon “Duke” Hanson
Inspiration – Fin project N.A. created a waterproof & bacteria resistant, proprietary plastic known as “croslite”.  Made into clogs for use in European day spas, Seamans saw its potential for boating shoes.

Conquering the Enemies of Innovation: Silence and Fear

Innovate or die. That’s the unavoidable reality of today’s fast-changing business climate. If you want your products and services — and your company — to remain relevant, you must constantly adapt to your customers’ needs.

Fishbowl CEO David Williams and President Mary Michelle Scott co-wrote an excellent article about how to overcome common obstacles to innovation for Harvard Business Review. Some key takeaways are summarized below with a link to the full article at the bottom of this page.

3 Tips for Creating an Innovative Culture

1. Trust your employees.

Without true trust, fear of failure creeps in and your employees will remain silent and stick with the status quo. Even though this behavior stifles innovation, it feels safer to managers and frontline workers, whose biggest fear is making a mistake that will cost them their jobs.

2. Establish guiding principles.

Don’t try to define the right way to do everything under the sun. You’ll never cover all contingencies, no matter how hard you try. And you’ll be hamstringing your employees from making decisions they are perfectly capable of making on their own. Instead, give them a list of traits that is consistent with your company culture. Some examples might include respect, belief, trust, loyalty, courage, gratitude, and commitment.

3. Encourage experiments.

Let your team know that you expect them to fail. Make sure they understand that courageous experiments — even the ones that flop — will ultimately propel your business to the next level and help you stay ahead of your competitors. In other words, they must learn to see failure as a necessary part of the development process.

See Conquering the Enemies of Innovation: Silence and Fear on

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