What is Innovation?

What is Innovation?

Forrester says: Innovation indices confuse innovation with invention. The innovation value chain–in a national context– encompasses the end-to-end cycle from R&D invention to its value realization in the society at large. As such, invention is only a subset of innovation that’s generally science-based research or focused on product design and results in patentable inventions. National employment, power, wealth, and well-being depend more on the deployment of innovations than on the invention itself.

So innovation entails the full process of coming up with ideas to successfully monetizing those ideas. An invention is the development of something that has not before existed.

Why is this discussion important? Both terms and concepts are important and do relate. However, the skills, mindset and tools used to support these two efforts can be very different. In future articles we will address both topics.

Let’s first look at the two top admired companies in 2010 to get a glimpse on how they focus on innovation.

CEO of Google on Innovation

Articles On Innovation and Invention

Other Helpful Videos and Articles on Strategic Innovation

In a Business Week article titled “The Keys to High-Impact Innovation,” Jeneanne Rae shares key principles that organizations should consider:

    • A clear challenge statement that expresses aspirations to a worthy goal without prescribing the means. This should be expressed in terms of a customer need, not a business need.
    • A well-designed, well-facilitated process that includes multidisciplinary participation and sources of cutting-edge ideas.
    • Emphasis on developing concepts that combine multiple elements of innovation (e.g., business model, IT platform, and channel) to increase impact and distinctiveness.
    • Techniques and structures that counterbalance the forces of risk aversion.

What is Innovation?

Highlights by David Willden