I agree with you that innovation is a challenging word to define, and applaud you in your efforts to shed some light on the issue. However, I think there are still some unresolved problems with your definition, in particular, with regard to the condition of newness, and in the relationship between innovation and creativity.

For instance, as an architect I’d like to think that my designs for new buildings are creative in that they are both novel (i.e., unique, original, not previously existing) and useful (they fulfill their practical and aesthetic functions, and therefore have value), these being the two ‘classical’ attributes of creativity.

However, as much as it hurts to admit it, I lay no claim to their being innovative, even though by your definition they would qualify as such insofar as they are ‘done’, built, implemented.

What I would suggest is that to be innovative, an idea or object must also 1) be seminal, i.e., groundbreaking, unprecedented, never-before-seen; and 2) adopted by others so as to eventually enter the general marketplace of ideas.

Thus, when the architect Frank Lloyd Wright builds the first homes with open space planning, the first homes in the Prairie Style, and the first structures using slab-on-grade construction, he’s reallly being innovative in that these were all completely new inventions, and inventions that ultimately made their way into mainstream practice.

Thanks again for adding to the discussion!

    Donald M. Rattner, Architect

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    Author of MY CREATIVE SPACE: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation, 48 Science-based Techniques amzn.to/2WfABoB