A list of innovation related terms and their descriptions.


Coming up with as many ideas or solutions possible for the situation, singly or in a group.

A formulated thought or opinion

An abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances

A collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

A thing produced by labor or effort or the result of an act or a process.

People or organizations working together to realize and achieve shared goals, by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition.

Social network

Idea Management System (IMS)
A formal process by which ideas can be recorded, filtered and selected for implementation

Innovation Management System (IMS)
A formal process by which an insight growth can be recorded from an idea, concept, project, to a product on market.

Breakthrough innovation


Innovation software

Open Innovation
The use of external as well as internal ideas and paths to market in order to advance innovation.

The production of something new

Platform Innovation
The platform innovation is defined as one that leads to the practical application of fundamental innovations. Such innovations normally are launching pads for a new industry. Examples of platform innovations include personal computers, silicon chips, cell phones, digital printers, operating systems, databases, drug delivery devices, satellites and the space shuttle. The platform component increases the portion of the laboratory or development component more so than do fundamental innovations. Platform innovations launch industries and change ways of life.

Reverse Innovation
Traditionally, rich nations have developed innovations and transferred them to developing nations. Reverse innovation is the opposite; i.e. innovating in developing nations (for example, India, Africa, etc) and bringing those products to rich nations. Reverse innovation has increased in importance as high growth is increasingly occurring in developing nations like China.

Variation Innovation
A variation innovation is a tertiary-level innovation that requires less time to develop and is a slight variation of the next-level products or services based on a derivative innovation. For example, variation innovations in cell phones are various color covers, ring tones, camera feature and additional software-based optional features. In the case of operating systems software, variation innovations are applications developed and based on the OS and derivative innovations. Typically, the variation innovation occurs close to the customer and may be the candidate for reaching the ultimate in speed of innovation or innovation on demand in real-time.

Sustainable innovation
Generating and validating ideas in a repeatable and more predictable way. As a process, innovation can be systematized to bring unprecedented efficiencies and ROI to idea generation, research, problem solving, market and technology landscaping.

Fundamental Innovation
A creative idea that leads to a revolution in thinking. Such innovations are based on extensive research, knowledge-driven, theoretically proven and lead to follow-up research and development

One who is trained in the art and science of brainstorming to deliver sudden, exciting and relevant ideas.

One who is trained in the art and science of brainstorming to deliver sudden, exciting relevant ideas.

The act or process of inventing or introducing something new. Leveraging insights into consumer needs to develop fresh thinking and unique solutions that create meaningful distinctions in brands, products and services, and enhances the consumer/end user’s experience.

Integrated Innovation
A holistic approach to innovating products, brands and services by exploring a wide variety of opportunities from every aspect of the marketing mix.

B2B Value Capture
Salespeople are often forced to compete on price only when selling their products in a business-to-business (B2B) transaction. B2B value capture is about quantifying the value that a supplier’s solution offers for the client so that claims of "better, cheaper, faster" can be conceptualized and measured.

Challenge Driven Innovation (CDI)
A portion of a larger project is formulated as a challenge, in which a "challenge" essentially represents the problem statement for a block of work that can be modularized and in most cases rendered "portable" in that it can be outsourced or insourced as an integral unit.

Customer Referral Value
This is the value of an existing customer referring the product (good and/or service) to an acquaintance, which can be calculated in a number of ways:
  1. the reduction in upfront capital (acquisition costs)
  2. the potentially greater perceived value (due to the reduction of perceived risk)
Customer Satisfaction
A customer’s perception of how well a product (good and/or service) performs in specific situations or in general relative to their expectations.

Distributed Innovation
A gathering of ideas and solutions from various sources and entities by a central organization who then integrates the pieces into what is considered the final innovation.

Qualitative: An event characterized by an act of creation or invention followed by successful implementation and deployment so that the benefits of the creation may be widely enjoyed.

Quantitative: An act of creation or invention that upon implementation and deployment increases the net product value.

Innovating the method and process of innovation.

Open Innovation
Use of inventive sources independent of the organization charged with delivering the innovation to the marketplace.

Perception of Product Value
Perception is the process by which we select, organize, and interpret information to create meaningful pictures of the world. Product Value is based on each individual’s perception and can vary due to selective attention, selective distortion, and selective retention.

Process Orchestration
Overlapping with the related concept of choreography, orchestration directs and manages the on-demand assembly of multiple component services, to create a composite application or business process. Orchestration tends to imply a single co-ordinating force, whereas choreography also applies to shared co-ordination across multiple autonomous systems.

A bundle consisting of a good and/or services for which consumers pay.

A bundle of product attributes that can be used to describe and compare. 

Reference Price
Any product price that is used by a consumer to evaluate the reasonableness of other prices.

Shareholder Value
The Market Value (# of Shares x Stock Price) of the firm’s stock held by shareholders, which is determined by the expectations of future performance of the firm, primarily future revenues, earnings, and cash flows.

Relative worth of a product or prospect measured in dollars.

Value Calculators
Spreadsheet-based applications that business-to-business salespeople can use to demonstrate the cost-savings or incremental value that the client will receive by using the supplier’s offerings.

Value Drain
Attributes, supplementary services, programs, and systems that cost the business more to provide than they are worth to the customers and have no strategic significance.

Value Function
A function that can be used to calculate the value of a product using estimates of the relative worth of critical value drivers.

Value Leak
Customer interactions that increase the cost of doing business for the customer and/or business, but yield no offsetting cost savings or value to either party.

Value of the Customer (often referred to as Customer Value)
How much value the relationship with a customer delivers to the firm. Can be calculated on a current basis, to-date basis, an as-is basis, or projected lifetime basis.

Abstract concepts of what is right, worthwhile, or desirable. The values of management impact how an organization creates value.

Innovation Management
The concept of innovation management encompasses an integrated approach to managing all dimensions of innovation, from innovation in products, services and business processes to organisational and business models, through continuous monitoring, development and improvement processes.

An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relation. The minimum requirement for an innovation is that the product, process, marketing method or organisational method must be new (or significantly improved) to the firm.

Innovation Management
The concept of innovation management encompasses an integrated approach to managing all dimensions of innovation, from innovation in products, services and business processes to organisational and business models, through continuous monitoring, development and improvement processes.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible assets resulting from the creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property can be protected by formal or informal methods. Formal protection consists in granting to the owners exclusive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) under intellectual property law. Informal protection consists in methods like secrecy, confidentiality, defensive publishing, fast innovation cycle etc

Intellectual property rights are divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes inventions, trademarks, industrial design, and geographical indications of source; and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, films, musical works, paintings, photographs, and architectural designs.

The majority of intellectual property rights provide creators of original works economic incentive to develop and share ideas through a form of temporary monopoly.

Non-technological innovation
Many innovations are of a non-technological nature, for example in areas such as marketing, organisation, management and design. They are not primarily driven by a technological invention or improvement, and hence referred to as non-technological innovations. The term is not unproblematic, however, as technology (for example information and communication technology) is used as an enabler to support most of today’s innovations, even when technology is not the main focus or driver of the innovation.

Open Innovation
The emerging paradigm for innovation, involving business models that use partnering, licensing and venturing to combine internal and external sources of ideas and technologies

Process management
Process management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, techniques and systems to define and improve processes, in order to meet customer requirements profitably.