Ingenuity starts with a spark of energy fueled by the motivation to solve problems with new ideas. It is the first step in the process, and while ingenuity might imply novelty, practical ideas do not have to be novel to be considered ingenious. Ingenuity sharpens the focus of a "good idea" toward a solution, and in a broader sense leads to “innovation."
Ingenuity is self-evident and all around us. We see it in the application of creative solutions to the countless difficulties we face as human beings. Every day, we use a rarely interrupted and coordinated supply of many million tons of food and fuel, gallons of water, and kilowatt hours of electricity. Enormous quantities of wastes are removed, services are provided, knowledge is transmitted, and property protected.
We often take these enormous undertakings for granted because the ingenuity required to run an existing operation could never equal the amount of ingenuity that was required to create it in the first place. It is encouraging to think that these countless systems were products of ideas met with courage and conviction. They demonstrate the triumph of incremental human progress and represent the collective creative works that took place over time, by sharpening millions of ideas with human ingenuity.