Free Course: What is Innovation?

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What is Innovation? (Innovation Defined)

We can now revise the initial definition of innovation so that it accurately defines what innovation is.

We saw how creativity and science alone can create new things, but they are not necessarily what we would call innovation. Innovation is different from just "creating something new" because innovation has an impact!

So a better definition for innovation is:

Innovation means doing things in a new way, or creating new things, that have a significant impact.

What is classed as a "significant impact" has a subjective element to it. This depends on what the aim and context of the innovation were. So for example, the beneficiaries of the following may judge these as significant impacts:

» Global corporation sells cars that drive themselves.

» University copies something from another organisation, but it is new within the university.

» A department within an organisation introduces a new way of working that improves the efficiency of the department.

» Within a small team a new tool is created that benefits the team.

» Two colleagues develop an innovative system for sharing their research and development outcomes between the two of them.

Whilst all of these might have a "significant" impact within their given context, they clearly have different levels of impact in an objective, and absolute, sense. This aspect is dealt with in the next topic...


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