Can You Define Innovation in Six Words or Less?

Create a vendor selection project & run comparison reports
Click to express your interest in this report
Indication of coverage against your requirements
A subscription is required to activate this feature. Contact us for more info.
Celent have reviewed this profile and believe it to be accurate.
7 January 2013
Zilvinas Bareisis
First of all, Happy New Year to all readers of our blog! On behalf of Celent's banking team, I hope you enjoyed your holidays and wish you a healthy and prosperous year. To kick start the year and get everyone's creative juices flowing again, Celent is challenging all to come up with the best definition of innovation in six words or less. It should be easy - apparently, Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write an entire novel in six words! He rose to the task with a poignant line: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." My view is that innovation is an essential ingredient of competitive advantage. However, innovation alone is not enough - a lot of hard work is required to commercialise innovation and bring it to market. Hence, my definition: Innovation is... "mathematically, competitive advantage minus perspiration." See, that's only five words! We are encouraging you to come up with your own definition and submit your entries to us. You can leave comments on this blog, send an email to Erica Ferguson at using the subject line “Innovation Is” along with your contact information, or join our LinkedIn group created specially for this. Of course, there is no right answer, but we will be announcing the winning entries during our Innovation & Insight (I&I) Day on February 27, 2013. Regular readers of our blog know that I&I is a flagship Celent event. As always, it will host a variety of Celent and non-Celent speakers and will be a great opportunity to network with the industry peers. If you’d like to see the full agenda and learn more details, please visit our registration site. I look forward to reading your thoughts on innovation and seeing you at Celent’s I&I Day in Boston. P.S. Innovation is also a key theme of my new report published today, "Top Retail Payment Trends: A Year in Review. 2013 Edition," so if you are a client, don't forget to visit our site and download the report.


  • Innovation is.. Value add through Creative thoughts

  • Innovation is... solving specific problems with creative solutions.

    Too many "innovators" think the whole point is to be creative and to come up with new ideas. But consumers and managers don't new "new ideas"; they need solutions to specific problems. Any "innovator" who doesn't sit down to first define the problem they are trying to solve is wasting their time.

    There is no value in being innovative for innovativeness sake. It's like brainstorming without any purpose or focus.

  • Innovation is.. creatively increasing the efficiency of production.

    That's slightly wonkish economic phrasing; the object of all innovation is to produce value more efficiently, I added "creative" to distinguish from other activities directed toward the same purpose, like education, training, scheduling..

  • [...] the innovation front, it’s still not too late to enter our competition to find the best definition of innovation – but in six words or less! There have been some great [...]

Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America