Can You Define Innovation in Six Words or Less?

Jan 7th, 2013 | Posted by
Bookmark and Share

First of all, Happy New Year to all readers of our blog! On behalf of Celent’s banking team, I hope you enjoyed your holidays and wish you a healthy and prosperous year.

To kick start the year and get everyone’s creative juices flowing again, Celent is challenging all to come up with the best definition of innovation in six words or less. It should be easy - apparently, Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write an entire novel in six words! He rose to the task with a poignant line: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

My view is that innovation is an essential ingredient of competitive advantage. However, innovation alone is not enough – a lot of hard work is required to commercialise innovation and bring it to market. Hence, my definition: Innovation is… “mathematically, competitive advantage minus perspiration.” See, that’s only five words!

We are encouraging you to come up with your own definition and submit your entries to us. You can leave comments on this blog, send an email to Erica Ferguson at using the subject line “Innovation Is” along with your contact information, or join our LinkedIn group created specially for this.

Of course, there is no right answer, but we will be announcing the winning entries during our Innovation & Insight (I&I) Day on February 27, 2013. Regular readers of our blog know that I&I is a flagship Celent event. As always, it will host a variety of Celent and non-Celent speakers and will be a great opportunity to network with the industry peers. If you’d like to see the full agenda and learn more details, please visit our registration site.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on innovation and seeing you at Celent’s I&I Day in Boston.

P.S. Innovation is also a key theme of my new report published today, “Top Retail Payment Trends: A Year in Review. 2013 Edition,” so if you are a client, don’t forget to visit our site and download the report.

  1. Rajesh G
    Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:05
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Innovation is.. Value add through Creative thoughts

  2. Innovation is… solving specific problems with creative solutions.

    Too many “innovators” think the whole point is to be creative and to come up with new ideas. But consumers and managers don’t new “new ideas”; they need solutions to specific problems. Any “innovator” who doesn’t sit down to first define the problem they are trying to solve is wasting their time.

    There is no value in being innovative for innovativeness sake. It’s like brainstorming without any purpose or focus.

  3. Melanie Friedrichs
    Jan 14th, 2013 at 14:33
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Innovation is.. creatively increasing the efficiency of production.

    That’s slightly wonkish economic phrasing; the object of all innovation is to produce value more efficiently, I added “creative” to distinguish from other activities directed toward the same purpose, like education, training, scheduling..