Understanding innovation Equation


What exactly is Innovation Equation ? There are many such equations out there but this is artificial level that can be used to help organizations add some content to the abstract concept. Please note that this is a model to help understand and not equal living real numbers associated with innovation output.

Very briefly always so innovation is a function of Creativity and Know-how that is multiplied by the constant alpha and raised to power n where

  • Creativity is simply a means and a framework that we use to generate new ideas and knowledge
  • Know-how is what we already know, for example, Company History, libraries, employee skills
  • Alpha consists of two parts, the desire or need to innovate and resistance. This can make the results negative!
  • The power n is a representation of the maturity level framework have been put in place to exploit innovation.

This equation is simple but profound. It says that innovation is simply a combination of creativity (coming up with new ideas), Director of know how (what we already know) and the framework we put in place to help this process. Note that I have not mentioned research and development, high technology, science or any keywords both business and governments want to use in their policy documents. Advanced R & D is simply applied creativity focusing on ‘R’ during product development uses some creativity but used the ideas and know how. Production is simply a physical manifestation know how. This may not suit those who have a drum to beat, but it does keep things nice and simple.

This equation also helps to show that it takes a number of different types of people to make innovation happen. We are talking about innovation system rather than a group of innovative people. After all, a truly creative person is the last person you might want to look after your company accounts! On the other hand, just because a company accountant is your logical, what system you have to capture and manage good ideas may not prevent them from making a donation.

Other key ideas to take away from the Innovation equation are:

  • Try to bulldoze through changes in company and production can go down
  • The more mature and refined innovative framework will be, the more benefit you will derive from them
  • Innovation is mainly about people not technology
  • Innovation can be measured directly


writer by Derek Cheshire

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