What do we mean by “innovation”?

bike path

While innovation is now very topical it doesn’t appear to be a well understood term. Some people support innovation, others are frightened of it and many just don’t care- they think it’s someone else’s responsibility.

Innovation is interpreted differently in different situations hence some difficulties in communication between different groups such as academia and industry which could impede progress.

Some forward-thinking members of the LinkedIn Group Innovation Management (approx 40,000 members around the world)  recently suggested general definitions and  voted on them. There are 33 definitions in the list below.

Interestingly some said we shouldn’t have a general definition, that it’s specific to the situation. One member also said “Everyone loves innovation but no one wants to change”.

For those of you who are interested in a general definition the 2 favourites are below followed by the definitions proposed.

Top definitions
30. The result of a creative process that creates value for society
11.  The process of bringing new, problem-solving ideas into use

Definitions proposed.

1. Anything that improves anything

2. Ideas applied successfully

3. New ideas, successfully applied

4. Doing things in a new way, or creating new things, that have a significant impact.

5. The creative development of solutions to real and important problems of customers, which are profitably brought to market

6. The beneficial utilization of knowledge and creativity, in order to discover and realize what does not yet exist.

7. The creation of value from ideas (which are new to you)

8.  A successfully implemented and widely accepted invention, which can be material and non-material, an object, process, phenomenon and/or their combination.

9. Creative thinking that adds value, or in two words, meaningfully unique

10. Creation of a viable new offering

11. The process of bringing new, problem-solving ideas into use.

12. Creating new value or capturing value in new ways

13. The actual use of a nontrivial change and improvement in a process, product or system that is novel to the institution developing the change

14. Profitable change

15. The act of introducing something new in something or in somewhere.

16. An idea that meets its market

17. Activity that brings a new repeatable (scalable) concept to customers.”

18. Research is the transformation of money into knowledge. Innovation is the transfer of knowledge back into money

19. The process of creating a product or service solution that delivers significant new customer value

20. The process of idea realisation

21. The result of: connect ideas from different sectors + current insights + solve a pain point

22. New business with new money

23. Successful commercialisation of an idea which adds value to any stakeholder

24. A change in culture.

25. Creating progress that brings important improvement in our quality of life.

26. The process of taking an idea from a state of Conception to a state of Commercialization (value creation

27. Successful adoption* of value-added change** (novelty) in economic, social and environmental spheres

28. The successful usage of new ideas or ways to fulfill certain needs.

29. Something new or different that provides greater value or benefit.

30. The result of a creative process that creates value for society

31. The use of new ideas, or existing ideas in a new context, to result in change which delivers value

32. Commercializing novel ideas

33. Created value for social change

Photo: A new glow in the dark bike path in Canberra Australia. www.ideaspies.com/glow-in-the-dark-bike-paths/

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