DEFINING

innovative meaning

Innovation has come to mean different things to different people. One area of confusion is the belief that innovation and creativity are synonymous. At Idea Connection Systems®, we see these two activities as complementary, but very distinct.

WHAT IS INNOVATION?

The elements that make Idea Connection Systems unique

Together, Human Dynamics and Innovation make what Idea Connection Systems does possible and the integration of these concepts within your corporate philosophy, services, and relationships is Idea Connection Systems’ competitive differentiator. Over time, the word innovation seems to have become ubiquitous. As a result, innovation has come to mean different things to different people. One area of confusion is the belief that innovation and creativity are synonymous. At Idea Connection Systems®, we see these two activities as complementary, but very distinct. The following are the definitions we use for creativity and innovation:

The Innovation Continuum

We view the goals of innovation on a continuum, ranging from Revolutionary to Evolutionary.

Revolutionary Ideas
Redefine problems, break boundaries, and create new paradigms. They provide completely new and sometimes disruptive ideas. The first flight and the personal computer are examples of revolutionary ideas. Steve Jobs and Thomas Kuhn are good examples of Revolutionary Innovators.

Expansionary Ideas
Challenge the current problem definitions. They answer the question: “How can we do things differently?” An example is a product line extension, such as Apple introducing its iPhone which uses much of the same technology as other smartphones combined with previous iPod products. The iPhone pulled in new customers and expanded the market. As an Expansionary Innovator, Tom Peters would tell you to continue doing what you are good at.

Evolutionary Ideas
Seek solutions by using existing concepts. They question: “How can we do things better?” These ideas can be very process-driven, such as Lean Six Sigma, which uses the “Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control” (or DMAIC) methodology. William Edward Deming, the father of the quality movement, is an excellent example of an Evolutionary Innovator.

All individuals innovate, and all types of innovators are necessary to successfully sustain innovation.
To make innovation happen, start by answering these three questions:

  • What does innovation mean to your organization? What quantifiable gains are measured and recognized?
  • Where do your innovation goals fall on the Innovation Continuum?
  • Who in your organization prefers working on Revolutionary projects? Expansionary projects? Evolutionary project?

 

The Human Principles for Sustaining Innovation

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Idea Connection Systems® is a trusted global consulting firm focused on providing instruments and services that leverage the unique human elements and dynamics within organizations to make innovation processes, systems, and results possible. Idea Connection Systems® was founded in 1988 from an intense desire to bring a clearer understanding of the key to making innovation happen within organizations. Central to understanding your organization’s innovative potential and its impact on any engagement is to truly understand and embrace the human element of the collective individuals. For over 30 years, Idea Connection Systems® has worked with clients to implement innovation systems; dissecting, understanding, and interpreting human dynamics to affect implementable and tangible change for organizations. This insight into human behavior is what empowers companies to leverage their different strengths, which shows them how to leverage, integrate, and optimize their potential talent within in the organization. In turn, they will then gain the understanding and guidance to implement and sustain new systems, strategies, and team structures to create new success.