What is innovation exactly?

NBNOne thing I do know about innovation is that virtually everyone has their own ideas about it. And I must say most are usually wrong since they tend to concentrate on only the first of the three crucial steps viz: Ideation.

In the US they have a colourful expression to describe the concept of Ideation where they claim ‘good ideas’ (ideation) are like ‘assholes’ … i.e. every body has one!

Of course this may be overstating the case however it does highlight the fact that ideation is only the first (albeit essential) step in the whole innovation process.

Steps 2 and 3 – Prototyping and Execution will be discussed more fully in future blogs.

In the meantime here are my selection of some insightful ‘definitions’ I found – mainly from a 2007 blog – for the full list check out:

They’re not exactly new ideas but I think they are a very good selection from people who have obviously given the issue some thought.

An innovation is something that you didn’t know you needed before it existed, but now that it’s been created you can’t live without it! – Tina Basle

Innovation is an idea or a radical change that gives birth to new dimensions never before conceived or explored – Christian Bissainthe

Innovation means…

1) you’ll first be laughed at and called a kook (sic)
2) then kicked around
3) then picked up and brushed off by someone courageous
4) then celebrated as a genius
– Eric Ludwig

Innovation is ONLY defined by its realization – you know it when you see it – Paul Soldera

Couldn’t agree more PS: to be discussed in my next blog on Perceived Disruptive Innovations.

But two of my all time favourites are:

Innovation in never about luck, it’s the culmination of preparation, a willingness to present the same idea a number of time and the stubbornness to work with people who don’t share your vision.

Innovation means being two steps ahead of the game, anticipating problems we are not yet aware of, and crafting solutions that make today’s norm tomorrow’s problem to be overcome.

As a serial online entrepreneur myself (at least 6 Start-Ups in Australia) I think these ‘definitions’ all have a ring of truth to them … I can certainly relate to them and I have been involved one way or another with the concept of innovation for over 15 years as a business person and researching at a post-graduate level since 2003.

I hope WOL readers agree … but if you have your own favourite … please share with a comment.

NB: A precise technical definition explaining the 3 core steps in-depth will be featured in future blogs.

PUBLISHER: Dr Andrew M Connery has been active online since 2001. Andrew completed his PhD at the UOW’s Sydney Business School in 2015 his doctoral dissertation ‘Overcoming Barriers to the Introduction of Perceived Disruptive Innovations in to Rigid Efficient Systems’. A B2B marketing practitioner and SEO/SEM consultant by profession his specialty area is overcoming local search engine bias.

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