What is Innovation? – Characteristics, Types and More
What is Innovation?
The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Conservatory defines innovation as “action and effect of innovating” or, in the more specific field of commerce, as “creation or modification of a product and its introduction in a market”. In addition to the commercial area, it is possible to find this term in contexts as varied as technological, business or educational.
Innovation is a constant in human history. Since ancient times, human beings have been vexed to create new tools, acquire new knowledge or improve what they already have, applying their ingenuity and, of course, their most urgent needs.
This feature has been further accentuate in recent centuries when science and human reason have given our species an immense ability to discover the deep workings of the universe and apply them to the resolution of our daily problems.
Characteristics of the Innovation
Innovation Can Be Characterized as Follows:
- It always has to do with discovering or inventing a new way of doing things or understanding what already exists.
- It may arise by chance or accident (for example, the accidental discovery of penicillin) or the result of sustained and systematic effort, that is, research and development (for example, atomic energy took decades of theoretical and experimental testing). Experimentation).
- It occurs in nearly all areas of human activity.
It Can Be of Two Types, Depending On its Mode of Emergence:
- closed innovation. When all the innovators fit into the same organization.
- Open innovation. The finding results from the synergy of the scattered and independent efforts of many individuals belonging to different groups.
Technological innovation remains the invention or development of new technologies, translating into more sophisticated tools, previously impossible capabilities, and new knowledge. It is a concept typical of the contemporary approach to science and technology, the result of the great scientific-technological revolution that occurred since the second half of the 19th century and continues to accelerate its march until today.
Technology lets us adapt the world to our wants instead of pre-existing ones. It is an important consequence of our ability to reason.
In this sense, innovation is part of the logical process of scientific and technical progress. To the extent that a new tool allows obtaining new knowledge that enables the manufacture of new devices. This feedback loop is precisely the engine of innovation in the area.
In teaching and learning, innovation introduces new physical or conceptual gears, or new transformative practices, as part of the current educational process to improve, update or enhance it.
It usually occurs hand in hand with new cultural, scientific, and technological paradigms to adapt society to recent trends. In this way, future generations will count on an up-to-date educational process.
Educational Innovation Usually Occurs in Two Different Ways:
- Through the renewal of existing elements as part of the school process (updating),
- Or also as a consequence of the resolution of internal problems or the internal needs of the educational system itself.
In the business world, “innovation” implements a new idea or concept in the production process, thus creating a value-add service or product that can be market within a niche market.
Put more simply, and business innovation has to do with the ability to introduce new ideas and concepts to economic activity. Create new goods or services, or solve existing problems in the production circuit.
Innovation is a highly sought-after and central element in the life of companies, which compete with each other to achieve the greatest economic benefit. An innovative concept or tool introduced into a business niche can completely transform it. It can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy for many organizations, depending on how they adapt to change.
In the Economic Field, Innovation Can Translate Into:
- New goods or new services that did not previously exist.
- It tools that facilitate, cheapen or enhance an existing economic activity.
- New economic niches or ways to anticipate future places or transform a current nook.
Creativity and Innovation
Creativity and innovation are ideas that should not be confuse. However, the difference between one and the other can be subtle since they are closely related concepts.
In this regard, the words of US Congressman William Coyne (1936-2013) are often cited: “Creativity is thinking of new and appropriate ideas. While is the successful application of ideas within an organization. In other words, Creativity remains the concept, and innovation is the process.”
Creativity remains the exercise of the very conception of a novel idea in the abstract. On the other hand, it always implies a practical criterion: thinking about how these ideas would allow a problem to be solved. That is the difference between the two concepts.
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