Innovation: How do Top Businesses Define It?
Innovation. Defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a new idea, device, or method” or “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods,” the term has become a mantra of business leaders. But given its broad definition, the word innovation is now teetering on the buzzword ledge, says MBA@UNC Lead Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Arvind Malhotra. According to him, “Innovation is a new offering or business model that enables a company to gain a significant competitive advantage —thereby generating abnormal profits and stakeholder value over the long run.” Innovation was once a unique descriptor, but with so many businesses these days claiming they are innovating, it is difficult to tell whom the true innovators are.
For many companies innovation does still stand as a notable characterization. These businesses are defining what innovation means for their venture to ensure that the term holds value and does not become a passé buzzword. To learn what creative and distinguished definitions ventures spanning a variety of industries have devised, MBA@UNC asked 20 businesses named among the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes and Fast Company, “How do you define innovation?”