It would make life so much simpler if everyone agreed as to what innovation means. Is it invention? Is it an invention that is sold? Is it the extension of a product line or the development of a new product line completely?
For me, innovation is a science – there are methods and tools that can be used to facilitate and develop products, services and processes. Depending on trial-and-error, the genius in the corner and hoping for a light bulb to flicker on above your head isn’t all there is. For example, I used to think brainstorming was putting a word in the middle of a piece of paper and drawing lines out from it, adding related words and phrases. And although that may be one way to brainstorm, there are specific types of brainstorming activities that can be used to keep the naysayers and attention hogs’ participation at a minimum so that sessions can be productive for a full group. (Google Edward DeBono for one such process.)
I often (probably too often sometimes) use the phrase, “You learn something new everyday.” When I learned to appreciate innovation as a science, I learned enough to carry me through a lifetime.