Idea management, Innovation management

Understanding innovation through innovation quotes By Jovana - 8 min read

Understanding innovation through innovation quotes

From time to time even the biggest brain of our era needs a little inspiration. In order to bring a bit of fun and creativity into our daily routine and move a focus from the forthcoming big update, we created Idea Challenge “What’s your favorite innovation quote?”. The idea behind this challenge was to create a database of all innovation quotes in a fun and relaxed way, that will be analyzed to gain a deeper understanding of the innovation process.

We were surprised by how many people are fans of quotes. The challenge was organized for the sales and marketing department with the aim to present the results to the development team in an offline workshop. Oh, how much fun we had from the start until the end of the Idea challenge.

In idea submission phase of the Challenge, we had 15 participants that collected 78 innovation quotes for a period of one month. Users were encouraged to reflect on the various ways innovation can be described. The comment section was used to express the understanding of the quote, as well as to pinpoint related keywords describing that quote. This way users got a better understanding of the relationships between the most important elements that innovation process is consisted of. After the submitted quotes were collaborated and analyzed, the Idea screening phase helped us to shortlist all innovation-related quotes, and so 24 quotes were dismissed. Then we moved our Idea Challenge to the idea evaluation phase, where all quotes were scored based on the following parameters: practical use of the quote (usefulness, relevance), impact and knowledge transfer. The quotes that were scored as the most useful ones, with the highest impact and that attracted the most attention, were selected as the winners. 

And, the winners are:

Idea Challenge winners

  1. "The innovation point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams." W. Arthur Porter
  2. "Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices." L. Duncan
  3. "Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy." Don Tapscott
Here’s the list of innovation quotes that did not win in our Idea Challenge, but nevertheless are very useful and inspiring. 
  1. "If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect!" Steven Berlin Johnson
  2. "Innovation is the outcome of a habit, hot a random act." Sukant Ratnakar
  3. "Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life." Harvey Firestone
  4. "There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on. "Michael Eisner 
  5. "The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." Carl Ally
  6. "Innovation— any new idea—by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience." Warren Bennis
  7. "Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried." Frank Tyger
  8. "The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause." Warren Bennis
  9. "Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form." Watts Humprey
  10. "Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation." Peter Drucker
  11. "There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns." Edward de Bono
  12. "Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference." Nolan Bushnell
  13. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." John Steinbeck
  14. "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo
  15. "An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea." Edward de Bono
  16. "The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." John Maynard Keynes
  17. "Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them." Alfred North Whitehead
  18. "The man with a new idea is a crank - until the idea succeeds." Mark Twain
  19. "Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." William J. Cameron
  20. "Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze." Peter Drucker
  21. "After years of telling corporate citizens to ’trust the system,’ many companies must relearn instead to trust their people - and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power." Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  22. "Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable." William Pollard
  23. "Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time." Bill Gates
  24. "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow." William Pollard
  25. "Never innovate to compete, innovate to change the rules of the game." David O. Adeife
  26. "It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." Roger von Oech
  27. "Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress." Ted Levitt
  28. "Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” Peter F. Drucker
  29. "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it." Steve Jobs
  30. "Innovation is all about people. Innovation thrives when the population is diverse, accepting and willing to cooperate." Vivek Wadhwa
  31. "If an organization values innovation, you can assume it’s safe to speak up with new ideas, leaders will listen, and your voice matters." Adam Grant
  32. "The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company." Ginni Rometty
  33. "Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress." Li Keqiang
  34. ’For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." Margaret Heffernan
  35. "Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation." Dean Kamen
  36. "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere." Lee Iacocca
  37. "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." Theodore Levitt
  38. "Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs." Bill Gates
  39. "Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don’t fight science and they don’t fight technology." Neil deGrasse Tyson
  40. "The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication." Harold S. Geneen
  41. "Ultimately, progress and innovation win." Travis Kalanick
  42. "Most people have a very strong sense of organizational ownership, but I think what people have to own is an innovation agenda, and everything is shared in terms of the implementation. Satya Nadella
  43. Innovation is the calling card of the future." Anna Eshoo
  44. "What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world."  Simon Sinek
  45. "Innovation is created as a result of constructive conflict." Jeff DeGraff
  46. "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." Steve Jobs
  47. "Innovation comes from saying NO to 1,000 things." Steve Jobs
  48. "Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let’s all go exploring." Edith Widder
  49. "When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills."  Chinese Proverb
  50. "Innovation is change that unlocks new value." Jamie Notter
  51. "The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation." Bob Iger

Hope you enjoyed reading quote, as much as we enjoyed playing with them. Lessons are learned through fun, if you need help in organizing educative innovation workshops, drop us an email on and we will design one for you.

If you have a favorite innovation quote not featured below, please write in a comment section and we will probably use it for our internal innovation workshops.

Jovana - Content manager
Content manager

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