In practice, the term innovation is used for many different ‘things’ that can be delivered or managed: from ‘the process to manage R&D resources’, to ‘breakthrough new technology’ or ‘entrepreneurship’, or from ‘the last resort for our struggling economy’ to ‘the latest hype in business education’.
Literally however, Innovation means ‘renewal’ – a word that suggests identity struggle and spiritual revelation. This meaning of the word ‘innovation’ is related to the open-endedness of starting something new, and the reflection and inspiration, which are essential for developing new turns in the life-story of individuals, companies, institutions or even society!
I would not dare to argue that excellent innovation processes and project management should be abandoned in developing innovative solutions. Also, technological breakthroughs and good product design have changed our lives significantly over the last 100 years. However when we over-emphasize the ‘manifestation’ side of innovation, we neglect the literal meaning and the ‘existential basis’ of ‘innovation’, which is at least as important for success.