Building on a culture of ingenuity, innovation bridges the gap between a good idea and the commercialization of a new product or service. Innovation can be built upon creative new practices that developed from past projects, even projects thought to have been failures in their own time. Innovation can be learned as an extension of processes, relationships, or business models adapted from previous successes that give us confidence to try it again. Even institutional innovations such as open-source applications can lead to further exploration of ideas.
Innovation screens and polishes ingenuity and can lead to invention in all of its forms. Breakthroughs in innovations can, of course, generate significant economic value when they become self-sustaining inventions. Valuing innovation requires an organization with the capacity for appreciating continual incremental innovations. Innovations are often small, hard-won, vital steps on the path to invention.