Innovation refers to the practical application of new ideas, methods, or processes that leads to introducing something new or making improvements to any existing thing. Creative individuals engage in a lot of unique or divergent thinking that leads to innovation.
What Is Innovation?
Innovation refers to the process and action of creating and introducing new ideas, concepts, services or things. It is typically applied when a new concept, product, device or technique is invented or introduced. The term is derived from the Latin word ‘innovare’ which means renew. The basic meaning of innovation is producing something new and different or improving something existing. It is a practical implementation process of new ideas where one makes improvements by introducing something new.
Creative and divergent thinking are two significant traits that are extremely necessary to produce groundbreaking innovative ideas. An innovative creation must be substantially different but not an insignificant change. The act of innovation is often described as a successful utilization or implementation of creative ideas. “Innovation can be defined as invention + adoption + diffusion. Successful innovations often possess two key qualities: they are both usable and desirable,” according to a 2017 research paper 1 Kelly, C. J., & Young, A. J. (2017). Promoting innovation in healthcare. Future healthcare journal, 4(2), 121–125. https://doi.org/10.7861/futurehosp.4-2-121 . Many researchers 2 Carr, K., Kendal, R. L., & Flynn, E. G. (2016). Eureka!: What Is Innovation, How Does It Develop, and Who Does It?. Child development, 87(5), 1505–1519. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12549 described it as a new or modified learned behavior or an adaptation of ideas that consists of a novel idea.
There are two important parts of the process – idea generation and its implementation. Studies 3 Okorodudu, D. E., Bosworth, H. B., & Corsino, L. (2015). Innovative interventions to promote behavioral change in overweight or obese individuals: A review of the literature. Annals of medicine, 47(3), 179–185. https://doi.org/10.3109/07853890.2014.931102 have shown that it requires individuals to change their behavioral traits, so the capability to influence a behavioral change is also essential for innovating an idea. During the idea generation, creative thinkers are involved in various conversations and inspire others around them to consider new creative strategies.
A 2014 research 4 Fleet R. (2014). On creativity and innovation: getting into the minds of creative giants at Family Medicine Forum. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 60(10), 950–951. suggested that innovation is an essential skill that requires creativity and willingness to face challenges. Most psychologists argue that an innovative idea must be unusual and beneficial enough to solve difficult problems. It should be feasible and valuable to people in some way. The creative idea should always be exceptional, well-executed, and communicated in a way to influence others as well. The process of implementing creativity mostly results in a significant positive change.
Innovation Vs. Improvement
Innovation and improvement both are associated with producing something new and unique. But innovation is slightly distinct from the actual concept of improvement. The process of innovating something refers to developing something different that includes a positive and beneficial impact, while improvement refers to making a pre-existing idea or thing more effective and efficient. In certain instances, one needs to make significant improvements in order to innovate or produce something new, but not all improvements are innovations. Improvements mostly include low-risk ideas that have limited effects and innovative ideas are considered more revolutionary and far-reaching.
How To Be More Innovative?
Researchers define innovation as a beneficial characteristic that only a few people have. It is often described as a capability that includes the skill of unique idea generation. One can develop the ability to innovate and enhance it with the help of a few useful ways, some of which are mentioned here:
1. Spend time outside
A creative block can be diminished by changing the environment. Our brain often gets stuck with the repetitive daily activities we perform regularly. Spending time in different surroundings or seeing unfamiliar sights helps us to think creatively.
Read More About Creativity Here
2. Follow your passion
Motivation is one of the most important factors associated with innovation. People should strictly follow their passion and be ready to experience different types of obstacles or challenges. When one feels motivated by the work itself, their creativity will flourish more and they will grow in their personal and professional life.
3. Seek opportunities and be curious
One should actively seek opportunities and constantly try to discover the reason behind things to produce innovative ideas. Non-innovative people are mostly not curious about knowing and learning things and often wait for opportunities to find them.
4. Don’t spend your free time being idle
Don’t waste your free time by using mobile phones, rather engage yourself in something productive and beneficial. You can use these times by rearranging thoughts in your brain and developing new ideas.
5. Start your day with creative habits
Most of us have a habit of using mobile phones after waking up in the morning. Little did we know that it can have some negative effects on our creative minds. Try to keep your phone switched off in the first hour of the day. Read inspirational books, listen to soothing music, practice yoga or meditation to give your mind some time to breathe.
Read More About Habit Formation Here
6. Manage negativity
Negative thoughts are another factor that can reduce one’s creative thinking ability. People go through several ups and downs, but staying positive is extremely valuable to develop creativity.
7. Encourage exciting ideas
All of your ideas might not always be helpful and there will be times when your ideas will seem useless to you. That’s why it is important to encourage every kind of exciting idea without thinking if they are possible to implement or not. Sudden ideas play a major role in flourishing creativity.
Develop Your Ability To Innovate
It is a crucial skill to develop as it immensely helps in improving one’s productivity and performance. The skill requires the unique talent of utilizing creative ideas, solving difficult problems, and thinking creatively. This ability has a significant impact on our professional and personal growth. One needs to think divergently, encourage unique ideas, and be curious enough for additional knowledge to obtain this extremely beneficial ability.
Innovation At A Glance
- Innovation is the practical application of new ideas that leads to introducing something new or making improvements to existing ones.
- Creative and divergent thinking are two significant traits extremely necessary to produce innovative ideas.
- The capability to influence a behavioral change is also essential for innovating an idea.
- Sometimes, one needs to make significant improvements to innovate something new, but not all improvements are innovations.
- People can develop their ability to innovate by spending time outside, following a passion, and managing negative thoughts.
- 1Kelly, C. J., & Young, A. J. (2017). Promoting innovation in healthcare. Future healthcare journal, 4(2), 121–125. https://doi.org/10.7861/futurehosp.4-2-121
- 2Carr, K., Kendal, R. L., & Flynn, E. G. (2016). Eureka!: What Is Innovation, How Does It Develop, and Who Does It?. Child development, 87(5), 1505–1519. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12549
- 3Okorodudu, D. E., Bosworth, H. B., & Corsino, L. (2015). Innovative interventions to promote behavioral change in overweight or obese individuals: A review of the literature. Annals of medicine, 47(3), 179–185. https://doi.org/10.3109/07853890.2014.931102
- 4Fleet R. (2014). On creativity and innovation: getting into the minds of creative giants at Family Medicine Forum. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 60(10), 950–951.