Recently, IdeaScale reached out to its crowd to ask them to complete this sentence: Innovation Is … We received a lot of interesting answers, but we thought we’d highlight a few themes that we found in some of our favorite responses:
“Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas that are of value to the customers and profitable for the company.”
What this author reminds us is that innovation must create value. And usually that value has two end points: the individual or organization that is creating and implementing a new idea and the end user who adopts the innovation. Both have to experience value or it is unlikely that an innovation will get very far. After all, if an organization cannot benefit from an innovation, why would they build it? And if an end user cannot benefit from an innovation, why would they use it?
“Innovation is a novel approach to an issue that makes everyday life a bit easier.”
Innovation must serve a need. Whether you’re working with a B2C innovation or a B2B innovation, there is some gap that is being fulfilled by your innovation. This can be a big change or a small one, but there is some overall gain, otherwise there’s no reason for someone to adopt it.
“Innovation is having a vision for a solution to a problem and having the patience and determination to make it happen at any cost.”
This is perhaps our favorite theme: innovation must get beyond the idea. An idea that never sees the light of day will never be an innovation. Ideas don’t create value for anyone, it’s the delivered solution that creates value and those ideas are often only realized after a great deal of hard work and determination. So at the end of the day, it’s not the company with the most ideas, but the one that can repeatedly deliver on good ideas that achieves greatness.
If you’re interested in learning how others define innovation, download our complimentary infographic on the subject, which shares definitions from Scott Berkun, Henry Chesbrough, and many others.