Creativity & Innovation

Changing the world...

Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved idea, good, service, process or practice which is intended to be useful. Scholars who have studied innovation generally differentiate among four main types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation, and marketing innovation.

Innovation is an important topic in the study economics, business, sociology, and other social sciences. Since innovation is also considered a major driver of the economy, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to policy makers.

Types of innovation

In business and economics, innovation is often divided into four types:

Product innovation, which involves the introduction of a new good or service that is substantially improved. This might include improvements in functional characteristics, technical abilities, ease of use, or any other dimension.

Process innovation involves the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method.

Marketing innovation is the development of new marketing methods with improvement in product design or packaging, product promotion or pricing.

Organizational innovation involves the creation of new organizations, business practices, or ways of running organizations.

In addition to dividing innovations into types, innovation is often characterized by its impact on existing markets or businesses. Sustaining innovations allows organizations to continue to approach markets the same way, such as the development of a faster or more fuel efficient car. Disruptive innovations on the other hand, significantly change a market or product catagory, such as the invention of a cheap, safe personal flying machine that could replace cars.

Simiarly, incremental innovation is evolutionary innovation, a step forward along a technology trajectory, with a high chance of success and low uncertainty about outcomes. Radical innovation, on the other hand, involves larger leaps in the advancement of a technology or process, and the chance of success in pursuing such innovation is usually much less.

Sources of innovation

Innovation in business is achieved in many ways, with much attention now given to formal research and development for "breakthrough innovations." But innovations may be developed by less formal on-the-job modifications of practice, through exchange and combination of professional experience and by many other routes. The more radical and revolutionary innovations tend to stem from R&D, while more incremental innovations may emerge from practice - but there are many exceptions to each of these trends.

Another key source of innovation is user innovation, innovations developed by individuals when existing products do not meet their current needs. User innovators may become entrepreneurs, selling their product, or they may choose to freely reveal their innovations, using methods like open source.

Whether innovation is mainly supply-pushed (based on new technological possibilities) or demand-led (based on social needs and market requirements) has been a hotly debated topic. Similarly, what exactly drives innovation in organizations and economies remains an open question.


Selected links

Innovation Tools
Description: Innovation tools, resources and strategies. InnovationTools catalogs the best resources for business innovation, creativity and brainstorming. InnovationTools provides entrepreneurs and innovators with a focused, growing collection of the best resources on business innovation, creativity and brainstorming. Our goal is to help you to learn more about the tools, strategies and techniques you can use to be more creative in your business -- and to help your company to increase its capacity for innovation and change.

i10 supports innovation and success by helping companies tap into the expertise and resources of universities in the East of England.

Creativity and Innovation in Science and Technology
Creativity and innovation for solving problems and implementing solutions is Mycoted's specialty. Creativity and innovation within the science and technology area is our focus, the techniques we use however, are equally applicable to other areas. We can either help you use creativity and innovation techniques to come up with new ideas, or we can generate potential solutions for you. Once the potential solution has been found we can assist with turning that solution into reality.

Fast Company
Fast Company is the magazine for a generation of business leaders with high expectations for their companies -- and even higher expectations for themselves. We deliver bold ideas about what comes next, chronicle companies and business units that have arrived at the future first, and provide advice and tools to help our readers become more effective executives.

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Adventures in Creativity
Adventures in Creativity develops the creative/innovative potential and the psychological wellness of individuals and organizations. We have many projects and programs going on at various stages of development. To see the latest project, go to the new DVDs, Poems at an Exhibition plus Collected Shorts. We are now offering the ability to download music, video, e-books, images, audio programs on the internet through our sister site