What is Innovation?

If one were to run a sample of 20 to 30 people (randomly), he or she may very well receive a unique definition of innovation from each individual response. Instead of doing a deep dive on the topic of innovation I thought it would be wise to pose a simple question, in an effort to solicit what I would consider impartial and unbiased feedback from the blog-o-sphere. With that I ask….

What is innovation?

To encourage responses I have included a few innovative pictures below to get the creative juices flowing.

5 Comments on “What is Innovation?

  1. Great idea to leave this one up to the masses. Innovation is a commitment to the business process of finding better, cheaper, friendlier ways to create customer/client value. To work, it needs to be ingrained in culture of the organization. It is not a fleeting commitment, but a modus operandi. Innovation should be taken to mean more than just NPD or process improvement. It's about maintaining a customer-focus and meeting customer/client needs first and foremost. That seems like a trite thing to say since all companies claim to be customer-focused, but most organizations are really competency or skill-focused. A competency-focused company will be fraught with obstacles that bar it from delivering the best value possible to customers/clients.

  2. Hey Joe, it's Rob. I have a blog as well, though for vastly different, yet fun, purposes.I'll define it on my own terms first, then actually look it up and see what Mr. Webster thinks.As diverse as the 20 to 30 responses of your surveyees might be, ultimately I think innovation boils down to three words: solutions plus change.I don't mean solutions as in sodium chloride or other such chemicals (though sometimes they are within the foundation of innovation), but more along the lines of simply solving problems. One could even say that a solution does not need to be reached to be innovative.Perhaps a problem could be an innovation, or at least the back bone to the ultimate solution.For example, the Titanic had an innovative problem. The ship was capable of transporting too many passengers for the amount of lifeboats designed for it. Could one call this problem innovative? I think so. The ship was immeasurably innovative for safety and management, though this effect resulted from tragic cause.By and by, I believe innovation cannot be defined in the present. It is only definable through experience and time. Through recollection and change. After all, no one knows if someone or something will change the world until they or it does so.Just my deux cents.-RB p.s. "something new or different introduced" as according to the dictionary.

  3. How would you feel if I said that process was the key to innovation?You can expect a post in the near future to kind of outline additional thoughts on the topic.If you are interested, I have an thoughtful report from the National Summit that may spark some additional ideas.

  4. I would have to disagree with the process being the end-all key to innovation. I think process is more of a result of several stages of innovative actions/ideas.For example, when you look at the history of art, Van Gogh, one of my favorite painters, was not considered to be innovative by peers, art critics, or the public for that matter until some time after his tragic suicide. Anyone with a decent knowledge of art knows that he was, on the contrary, EXTREMELY innovative and helped revolutionize the art world.He founded this innovation in painting style, so we can all agree that the innovation existed with or without the "process" of the art world's reflection of his tremendous influence, right? The only reason his work is recognized as innovative today comes from the public's realization that modern artwork was substantillay rooted in his.Now I pose a new question(s). Does innonvation come about simply because an idea, or process, changes something, or does it need public acceptance/praise/disdain to be recognized as such? Furthermore, is process a cause, effect (or both?) of innovative ideas. Or can the two exist exclusively?

  5. If you know of anyone that would be interested in sharing their thoughts on innovation feel free to send them a link to my blog or simply pose the question "What is innovation?". I am trying to solicit as much feedback on this topic as possible. As the future leaders we must begin to define what innovation means collectively and establish generational ideals that can transcend time. You have both brought up some really interesting points, that with some coordination, can have an impact on the way business is conducted, politics are debated, and society is engaged.

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