What does it take to encourage creativity and innovation across an entire region?

I sat down with Pascal Cools, from the Flanders District of Creativity, which the Belgian government set up to promote innovation and creativity within businesses of the region.

Essentially, it was designed to help companies think of innovation in a different way. You could say it was to help them “innovate their innovation”.

Their philosophy is that innovation should be a combination of insights coming out of science, business and industry. If you combine those three aspects you’re likely to be more successful in your efforts. This is best exemplified in their Creativity World Forum, bringing insights from their sister organisations across the world.

Also important is to show companies that innovation is serious business. A problem which exists in many businesses in the region, as well as the rest of Europe, is that many think that innovation is related to “fun” and “playtime”, like team-building workshops. In reality, there are methodologies and processes which can be implemented and have an immediate impact on their financial performance.

You can find out more about the tools and help they provide to companies in Belgium and across the world at the District of Creativity website.

How is your company encouraging innovation? Do you get any support from a local agency and have you found it helpful? Let us know in the comments below (we read all comments).

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of Ideatovalue.com and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.