What Is Innovation?

Innovation is like light. For ages, scientists have debated what light really is. Is it a wave, a particle, or both? 

Innovation, likewise, is tricky to define. Is it a noun, or a verb? Is it a process? Or, is it people? Recently, The Harvard Business Review searched their archive to shed some light on this "chicken or egg" puzzle.

Innovation can be defined in various ways, but what it it really? Ultimately, innovation is a practice done by people. However, it's not just DNA. It can be learned. Furthermore, innovation is more of a verb than a noun. It’s a verb that produces nouns.

The Terrible Secret About Innovation

In the apocalyptic 1970’s movie “Soylent Green,” Charlton Heston exposed the terrible secret: “Soylent Green is people!”

Soylent Green was supposed to be some kind of high-protein breakfast bar made from green plankton. However, things were not as they seemed.

Innovation, likewise, can be misunderstood. To some, innovation means using different or better tools. To others, it means using better technology. To others, it may be invention, or the solitary bright idea of a genius. Innovation may involve some or all of these things.