This post will delve a little deeper into what is Innovation. Defining Innovation is a challenge and a bit of a slippery slope. The dictionary definition seemed a little hollow so I have taken a different approach.
The methodology that I decided to use is relatively simple; think of some of the greatest innovators in the world today and see what they have to say about innovation. I thought a good reference point would be; Apples - Steve Jobs, Google and Peter Drucker. Here is what they had to say:
"Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it." -- Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998 – Steve Jobs
Finding a quote from the Google founders on the definition of innovation proved to be a real challenge. My thought was that Google lives innovation rather than defines it; therefore I have taken a few snippets from their “culture” page, which actually refers to how they foster innovation.
Sergey Brin, Larry Page on Innovation “Google's emphasis on innovation and commitment to cost containment means each employee is a hands-on contributor. There's little in the way of corporate hierarchy and everyone wears several hats.”
Finally, a third quote by business guru Peter Drucker. Innovation is change that creates a new dimension of performance. Peter Drucker
Both Apple and Google are knowledge based companies that focus on innovation. The third definition by Peter Drucker is much broader and related to business in general rather than technology. This leads nicely into “what are the different types of innovation”. Depending on how you define innovation and the type of innovation are directly related into how government should incent innovation.
There are a number of key take aways from this definition of innovation exercise:
- Innovation is not easily defined - There are many different ways to innovate - The key to knowledge based innovation is corporate culture
Next post in the series wills more definitions. To move forward it is important to do some context setting.
- Ian Graham