The discontinuous nature of innovation

Making sense of the field of innovation is not simple. This is partly because of the range of aspects of innovation that are frequently discussed.

In this interview with Brightidea, the leading provider of innovation management systems, Keith McConnell, of Sara Lee, makes a distinction between innovation and “continuous improvement” in the first 25 seconds, when he says:

“My role is in continuous improvement. And my job is to actually improve the innovation process. So it is both continuous improvement as well as innovation.”

Keith McConnell [Sara Lee] from Brightidea on Vimeo.

#innochat today

Today (13 March 2014), during #innochat, this interesting aspect of innovation is proposed as the starting point for a discussion of the relationship between innovation and kaizen, which is often described as the pursuit of “continuous improvement“. The discussion will be led by our guest Elli St.George Godfrey (@3keyscoach).

To compare and contrast the two concepts, we are taking innovation to mean the opposite, that is: “discontinuous improvement“. Many other definitions of innovation can be found; however, this one is succinct and addresses both the nature of an innovation and the purpose of innovation activities.

The framing post for today’s #innochat describes the distinction in more detail, as well as the background to the chat and the questions posed. Afterwards, we will add a transcript of the chat at the end of that post.

Hopefully, this will provide some additional guidance in understanding the field of innovation, particularly its discontinuous nature.

#innochat takes place on Twitter every Thursday at noon Eastern local time.


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