From the Wikipedia entry on Innovation: "Innovation is an important topic in the study of economics, business, technology, sociology, and engineering."
Why isn't innovation an important topic in education?
A few more thoughts on innovation, brought to you (with questionable authority) by Wikipedia:
- "Innovation . . . is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method . . . Innovation is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.
Innovation typically involves creativity, but is not identical to it: innovation involves acting on the creative ideas to make some specific and tangible difference in the domain in which the innovation occurs. For example, Amabile et al. (1996) propose:
- "All innovation begins with creative ideas . . . We define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization. In this view, creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation; the first is necessary but not sufficient condition for the second".
For innovation to occur, something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required: the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference, resulting for example in new or altered business processes within the organization, or changes in the products and services provided.
A further characterization of innovation is as an organizational or management process. For example, Davila et al. (2006), write:
- "Innovation, like many business functions, is a management process that requires specific tools, rules, and discipline."
From this point of view the emphasis is moved from the introduction of specific novel and useful ideas to the general organizational processes and procedures for generating, considering, and acting on such insights leading to significant organizational improvements in terms of improved or new business products, services, or internal processes.
Through these varieties of viewpoints, creativity is typically seen as the basis for innovation, and innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization (c.f. Amabile et al. 1996 p.1155). From this point of view, creativity may be displayed by individuals, but innovation occurs in the organizational context only.