Theodore Levitt

United States
1 Mar 1925 // 28 Jun 2006


All too often, people believe that creativity automatically leads to innovation. It doesn't.
Creativity is thinking new things. Innovation is doing new things.
A powerful new idea can kick around unused in a company for years, not because its merits are not recognised, but because nobody has assumed the responsibility for converting it from words to action.
There is no shortage of creative people in American business. The shortage is of innovators. All too often people believe that creativity leads to innovation. It doesn't.
The scarce people are the ones who have the know-how, energy, daring, and staying power to implement ideas... Since business is a 'get-things-done' institution, creativity without action-oriented follow-through is a barren form of behavior. In a sense it is irresponsible.


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."