Many companies try to get clever without actually defining what they mean when they use the term “innovation”. In fact, you’d be surprised at the number of items innovation I’ve talked to who can not articulate what they mean by “innovation”. Then they spend time trying to work out why their efforts seem to be ignored by managers and stakeholders.
If you dare to say the word “innovation” at the meeting (or, even more ambitious), ask you about the definition of a word, you may find that the kind of consensus is impossible. All have a very personal idea of what innovation should or should not be. It is often very difficult to shake such a strongly held belief, especially if they consider potential innovation program venture on their turf.
I’ve seen arguments on this topic go over the same ground as long as sooner or later someone almost always indicate “we have not defined, so let’s get on with it.” This is wrong. Many different opinions on what you’re trying to get innovative projects almost always leads to a situation where nothing is done at all.
Effective team innovation check for definition that allows them to look at things in the broadest way, but that is not too threatening to the established business areas. In my own plans, we have successfully used the following: Innovation is “something that could not be reached through normal business as usual process”
This definition is not in prescriptions either. volume or extent of innovation that could attack. The team is free to do anything at all that is not already running elsewhere. The definition is a good balance between flexibility to do new things, and to ensure that powerful stakeholders will not feel they have to shut down innovation before it gets off the ground.