ABSTRACT

I proposed that the most useful definition for innovation in a business was ‘Anything that is new to you’. I reviewed models for innovation covering both incremental improvements and more radical changes. Incremental improvement is often looked down upon as ‘not really innovation’ – not like the ‘Eureka moment’ of radical innovation. But the reality is that radical innovations are few and far between. A working culture where small improvements are regularly made by many managers and employees is very powerful – and is the core of business innovation. And this type of endemic innovation in a firm’s business processes provides a good barrier to ‘copycat innovation’ which can easily occur in product innovation in a service sector – due to its transparent nature. Of course radical ‘breakthrough’ innovations should still be sought – a business can and should seek to accommodate both types of innovation.