Innovation or Innovative

Just some thoughts on terminology rather than technology

There is a great opportunity to once and fall clear up confusion about:

Innovation, innovating and innovators

Innovation – a proven new ‘thing’ that revolutionises, improves value or changes for the better the ways things are done – the emphasis is on the ‘proven’ which may be only in the locality in which it was developed
Innovating – methods of doing something different which have face validity (appear to look good) but may not have proven their worth
Innovators – people who do innovating stuff and sometimes produce an innovation

This is VERY different from implementation which is a challenge in its own right.

An innovating new technology maybe proposed by an innovator and yet it might not be an innovation

An innovation may be brilliant in its location of validation but is only seen as innovating elsewhere because it is difficult to replicate.

So for example a website that promotes innovation must be more than simply a collection of innovators promoting innovating technologies. What we want are innovations which can be implemented elsewhere

One thought on “Innovation or Innovative”

  1. Invention, innovation, investigation and implementation are four stages of the “improvement” process but they are different. Invention is when something uniquely new is created – by design or accident. Innovation is when we do something new for use (but may not be new for others). Investigation is when when explore how the new thing fits with the old thing – does it work for us in our specific context? And implementation is when we are past the “tipping point” and the paradigm starts to shift. In general there is not shortage of innovative ideas – where the gap is the translation of innovation into implementation – and that requires a wide range of skills that very few individuals appear to possess. The closest appear to be “Design Teams” who bring a wide range of skills and experience together to work collaboratively on a “design assignment”. The NHS does not have this capability simply because neither clinicians not managers are taught design methods. We are only taught how to scrape burnt toast – not how to design an “effective and efficient toaster”.

Leave a Reply