“I once heard someone say that creativity involves thinking about ideas; innovation is about taking a leap and making ideas happen. ”Eric Yudelevich, MD
I’ve heard a lot of definitions for innovation. The one I like the most is that innovation is creativity in action.
I once heard someone say that creativity involves thinking about ideas; innovation is about taking a leap and making ideas happen.
On any given day, anyone can have a good idea. It’s on your mind briefly. Then, more often than not, you keep going on with your day, and you forget the idea. The key is not letting those ideas get lost. I’ll write them down on notecards, then come back to them in a few days to see if there might be something there.
Ideas will come to me when I’m relaxed and not thinking about other issues. I also focus better when I’m doing something else, like walking or driving. When I’m not, I start thinking of things that cloud creativity. Our minds are constantly working in the background, but sometimes we let other tasks get the best of us.
We’re used to talking about success. We don’t talk about failure as much, and that’s a problem. We all know that failure happens, but it’s not always part of the conversation – and we think of it as something negative. Failure is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, about what worked, about what didn’t work. You can take many lessons from it.
Andy Williams, my patient and my collaborator, helped me understand the power of innovation. His belief that we can change the lives of others has been the greatest inspiration. When you start thinking about how you can make an impact, you look at life differently. You think about all the people you can help, and it becomes about something larger than yourself.
Eric Yudelevich, MD, is a primary care and internal medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic. He teamed up with patient Andy Williams to develop GioBey, an accessory to prevent leakage for patients who require nutrition tubes or other types of medical tubing. It was conceived by Williams and refined in collaboration with Dr. Yudelevich and Cleveland Clinic Innovations.