What is Innovation?

What is Innovation?

It appears as though everyone is talking about innovation nowadays.

Do we actually understand what it is?

We often hear the term innovation associated with words like creativity, collaboration, invention, continuous improvement and research and development. We need to fine-tune our thinking; we can’t keep using these words interchangeably with the term, ‘Innovation’.

Why? Because the words mentioned are only elements of innovation. Innovation is the the practical application of new ideas. These subset terms do not substantiate innovation and its worth.

Innovation is about new value, not new things.

You see, creating ‘new things’ is not sufficient when defining innovation. Rather, innovation can be defined as the creation of substantial new value for customers and the organisation by creatively changing one or more dimensions of the business system. This is an exciting prospect!

Innovation is a process, but there is no generic formula. It’s also more than making improvements; innovation is doing something different rather than doing the same thing better. Be warned: a great product with a lousy distribution channel will fail just as spectacularly as a terrific new technology that lacks a valuable end-user application.

When it comes to rolling-out a successful innovation, companies must take into account all dimensions of its business systems. Otherwise, the new idea will not be applied practically and there will be no new value for the customer or the organisation.

So, there you have it. Innovation in a nutshell. Next week we will explain innovation and its importance for your organisation.