How We Got Here

Innovation matters—now more than ever. Few managers would argue with the assertion that innovation is a business imperative. CEOs, academics, and politicians can be heard waxing lyrical about the need for innovation in this or that company, industry, or even national economy. But why does innovation matter so much in today’s business world?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Innovation is where the worlds of business and creativity meet to create new value. It really is as simple as that.

The word innovate first appears in the mid-sixteenth century. It comes from the Latin innovatus, meaning “renewed, altered,” from the verb innovare, which comes from in (“into”) and novare (“make new”). In other words, innovation is ...

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