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pixel.gif (807 bytes) Ten Definitions of Innovation
prepared by Debra M. Amidon, ENTOVATION International
listed in Collaborative Innovation and the Knowledge Economy (1998)

1. "The three stages in the process of innovation: invention, translation and commercialization."
Bruce D. Merrifield. 1986. Forces of Change Affecting High Technology Industries. A speech by U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
2. Invention: the power of inventing or being invented; ingenuity or creativity; something originating in an experiment.
Innovation: the act or process of innovating; something newly introduced, new method, custom, device, etc; change in the way of doing things; renew, alter.
Webster's New World Dictionary. 1982. Second College Edition.
3. Phases of Growth: entrepreneurial; divergent; inventive; creative; exploratory management; duplication; modification; improvement; commonality/likeness shared leadership; divergence and innovation; sharing and integrating differentness; partnering/vision.
"Innovators can hold a situation in chaos for long periods of time without having to reach a resolution...won't give up...have a long-term commitment to their dream...innovators introduce a maximum of tension into the thinking process, unifying concepts that often appear to be opposed, solving problems which appear impossible."
George Land and Beth Jarman. 1992. Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today. New York, NY: Harper/Collins Publishers.
4. "This (innovation) life cycle is an S-shaped logistic curve consisting of three distinct phases: emergence (the development of the product or service, its manufacturing capabilities, and its place in the market), growth (where the product family pervades the market), and maturity (where the market is saturated and growth slows)."
William G. Howard, Jr. and Bruce R. Guile. 1992. Profiting from Innovation. New York, NY: The Free Press. p.12.
5. "Innovation cuts across a broad range of activities, institutions and time spans. If any part of the pipeline is broken or constricted, the flow of benefits is slowed. This is felt ultimately in lower productivity and lowered standards of living. In this sense, the cost of capital is crucial not only at the early stages of research and product development but also at the later stages when high-technology products are installed in production processes, in both manufacturing and service industries, as new tools to improve worker effectiveness."
James Botkin, Dan Dimancescu and Ray Stata. 1983. The Innovators: Rediscovering America's Creative Energy. New York, NY: Harper and Row.
6. Matrix of the four types of Innovations: I. Architectural Innovation; II. Market Niche Innovation; III. Regular Innovation; and IV. Revolutionary Innovation.
William J. Abernathy, Kim B. Clark, and Alan M. Kantrow. 1983. Industrial Renaissance. New York, NY: Basic Books.
7. "Continuous innovation occurs largely because a few key executives have a broad vision of what their organizations can accomplish for the world and lead their enterprises toward it. They appreciate the role of innovation in achieving their goals and consciously manage their concerns' value systems and atmospheres to support it."
James Brian Quinn. 1986. Innovation and Corporate Strategy: Managed Chaos. In Technology in the Modern Corporation: A Strategic Perspective. New York, NY: Pergamon Press. p.170.
8. Five Stages of the Innovation Process: 1. Recognition; 2. Invention; 3. Development; 4. Implementation; and 5. Diffusion.
Modesto A. Maidique. 1980. Entrepreneurs, Champions and Technological Innovation. Sloan Management Review (Winter).
9. "The literature on organizational innovation is rich in lessons...describes processes that are also prevalent in the natural universe. Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren't there before."
Margaret J. Wheatley. 1992. Leadership and the New Science. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. p.113.
10. "To explain innovation, we need a new theory of organizational knowledge creation....The cornerstone of our epistemology is the distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge...the key to knowledge creation lies in the mobilization and conversion of tacit knowledge."
Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi. 1995. The Knowledge-Creating Company. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p.56

If You Have a Question:

If you have a question about Knowledge Innovation or ENTOVATION International, please email Debra M. Amidon at debra@entovation.com


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Last updated: 22 Aug 1999