Innovation as Defined in "The Five Disciplines..."
Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want by Carlson and Wilmot defines innovation as "the process of creating and delivering new customer value in the marketplace."
Coming up with a new idea is not innovation. Inventing and making a prototype of a new product is not innovation. Creating and delivering a new product to customers, even if it sells well, is not innovation unless that product delivers new value not available from existing products.
Using the above definition, innovative products and services rolled out in 2006 include the Nintendo Wii, dual core processors for personal computers, Apple's video iPod, Flickr picture geotagging, powdered inhalable insulin, SkyScout personal planetarium, Google Calendar, and Plextronic polymers used in ink for printed electronic devices. Each of these is in the marketplace and is bringing its customers new value. The 2006 innovations listed above were not primarily products of northeast Wisconsin, but over the next six months, I am working with others to identify innovations which came from the New North, and others which are in the works or could come from the 18 counties of this region.
If you have a definition of innovation that you prefer to the one above, please mention it in the comments for this blog. For those who have read top quality books about innovation, please mention those books, with your recommendations for the top five if you've read more than five.