Innovation Theory and Practice
This chapter aims to provide a short overview of thinking and practice on innovation. When thinking about innovation it is important to separate out the generation of ideas from their subsequent implementation. There are lots of different definitions – some authors call ideas generation 'invention', while others confusingly have used 'innovation'. Successful implementation or commercial application might be termed 'innovation' or 'entrepreneurship'. One of the biggest myths about innovation is that it is about a creative genius having a flash of inspiration in an epiphany or 'eureka' moment. Clayton Christensen introduced the term 'disruptive innovation'. It describes the process, which at the time seemed counterintuitive, whereby an innovation that helps make a product or service available to new consumers at the lower end of a market can unexpectedly end up displacing the incumbent businesses. A good starting point for an executive wanting to understand their role in encouraging innovation is Innovation as usual.