The journey to a better understanding of innovation, Creativity

Innovation Definition

What is the definition of innovation?  It is such a nebulous word, often associated with the latest new products and creativity in business, such that it’s original meaning has been watered down and stretched in ways it was not intended.

Innovation definition roots revealed

Innovation comes from the Latin “innovationem” which is related to the Latin word “innovare”.  “inno” means “in/into” and “novus” means “new” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Where did the word “innovation” come from?

“Innovation” first appeared in the 1540′s according to the OED.  Its origins seem to have a connotation more in line with the word “revolution.”  A revolution is a change in power, itself with an interesting etymology derived from the Latin words for “turn” as in the perceived revolution of celestial bodies in the sky.  Consider one of the OED references of the word: “It is the duty of private men to obey, and not to make innovation of states after their own will,” that is changes to government that are not in line with the laws of God.  In Henry IV, Shakespeare used the line “Which gape and rub the elbow at the newes of hurly burly innouation” which is employed as a synonym for rebellion or insurrection.  So it appears that the word had a somewhat violent origin to say the least!

What is a crisp definition for the word in its modern context?

The definition of innovation in its simplest form is the action of creating novel solutions.


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