Invention versus Innovation

by Braden Kelley

From a body of work I currently have in development:

Continuous innovation requires that innovation is placed at the center of the organization and that all parts of the organization are changed to support it. To effectively place innovation at the center of the organization, people must know what innovation is, what it looks like in their organization, and how they can contribute. Most people easily confuse invention with innovation, and wrongly chase invention in the name of innovation. Let’s look at the two side by side to clear up the confusion from a common source, the American Heritage Dictionary:

Invention – A discovery, a finding
Innovation – The act of introducing something new

In short, invention is coming up with a great idea, but innovation is the act of introducing that invention successfully to the world. Innovation is truly about transforming the useful seed of an invention into something valuable.

For more on this distinction between useful and valuable, stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out an example to ponder posted previously on the blog:

http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2007/07/11/invention-versus-innovation-auto-industry-example/


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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a Social Business Architect and the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden is also a popular innovation speaker and trainer, and advises companies on embedding innovation across the organization and how to attract and engage customers, partners, and employees.

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