Definitions of innovation, Don't Panic ! Let's Start

The author wrote this article as one of his first ones in 2019, right after his 35th birthday, when he changed his decision about his career, his life and actually everything. It belongs to an article series about innovation where he will try to learn, experience and share more about the dicipline. Hope that it attracts the right people and we could redefine innovation and spread the discipline to everything in life.

Well.. After years in the industry, practicing some skills, and observing the things going around, the author can definitely see that something is going wrong. Innovation is a very important discipline but somehow people got it wrong. Everybody talks about it, there is a misconception that it belongs to industry and it must be related to hi-tech. Well.. Is it?

Does Innovation Belong to Industry and Hi-Tech?

No, so wrong.. I will explain why later on in detail..Now.. Let’s not panic but start... Shall we first look at the state of the art on the definition and concept of innovation in literature?

In other words, for part one, let's first explore the definitions of innovation from different authorities.

Here Are 14 Most Effective Definitions of Innovation

  • According to Oxford Dictionary:

Innovation is the action or process of innovating or/else a new method, idea, product, etc.

  • According to Wikipedia:

Innovation can be simply defined as a "new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method". However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

  • According to NASA:

Innovation is an Opportunity to Push the ‘Envelope’.

  • According to an Engineer who works at NASA:

Innovation is how we can help make the government more efficient, how we continue to use technology to make progress in our lives and make the future better for everyone

  • According to Bill Gates:

Innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights that entrepreneurs can turn into companies that change the world.

  • According to Steve Jobs:

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

  • According to Scott Berkun (Author, spokesman):

Innovation is significant positive change. It’s a result. It’s an outcome. It’s something you work towards achieving on a project.

  • According to Richard Lyons (Chief learning officer @ Goldman Sachs):

Fresh thinking that creates value.

  • According to OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 36 Member Countries):

New products, business processes and organic changes that create wealth or social welfare

  • According to Paul Sloane (Author, Public Speaker):

Creativity is thinking of something new. Innovation is the implementation of something new.

  • According to Scott D. Anthony:

Something different that has impact.

  • According to Peter Drucker:

Innovation is change that creates a new dimension of performance.

  • According to Innovation Measurement Magazine:

The design, invention, development and/or implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, or business models for the purpose of creating new value for customers and financial returns for the firm.’’

  • According to United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry:

Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas.

Which Definition Is The Most ?

The author do like Peter Drucker‘s definition of innovation in the first place. Which one do you like the most? Can you define innovation better? If you know somebody else, please share his/her definition with us.

In the second part, we will explore the literature about how they define the innovation process. Then we will comment on the overall picture a bit.