In our glossary of 21st Century Healthcare there are eleven examples of the term being used in different ways by different authorities. There is no right definition as is common with most terms in common use but a certain number of principles can de discerned
Firstly, “Invention is not the same as innovation” (1) is a theme that is consistent. Innovation is much more than invention, though obviously invention, the creation of a new idea, or technology or process is important but innovation is more than that. Innovation has to be perceived as novel, in the words of Everett Rogers, one of the most highly respected writers on innovation “is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption.” (2)
What is really important, however, is implementation, getting something into practice, indeed one definition emphasises that an invention is not an innovation until it gets put into as “the first, practical, concrete implementation of an idea done in a way that brings broad-based, extrinsic recognition to an individual or organization.” (3)
It is also useful to think about the term as a verb rather than a noun, as is the case with network, and here are two examples of innovation as a process or activity being either “the successful exploitation of new ideas.” (4) or “the process of translating ideas into useful – and used – new products, processes or services.” (5)
- Brown, T. (2009). Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. HarperCollins Publishers (p.164).
- Rogers, E.M. (2010) Diffusion of Innovation (Fourth edition). The Free Press, (p. 11).
- Plsek, P.E. (1997) Creativity, Innovation, and Quality. ASQ Quality Press. (p.30).
- Stern, N. (2007) The Economics of Climate Change.” (p.395).
- Bessant, J., Tidd, J. (2007) Innovation and Entrepreneurship John Wiley & Sons Ltd, (p.28).