Not Just Angels on a Pin: Defining Technological Innovation

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In its Most Innovative Companies 2012 report that analyzes survey data from more than 1,500 senior executives, the Boston Consulting Group noted: “Innovation is rapidly moving up the CEO agenda across regions and industries. Seventy-six percent of respondents ranked innovation as a ‘top-three’ strategic priority—the highest level in our survey’s history.” Innovate on Purpose blogger Jeffrey Phillips observed: “I’m sure we could spend hours debating the definition of innovation, much like ancient scholars argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Unlike the angels on a pin, however, the definition of innovation matters. . . A definition signals intention, commitment, direction, and importance. . . . If innovation is poorly defined, innovation is like discovering a new continent without a map, without a compass, and without knowing what’s important when you discover it.”


Academic libraries; Education; Higher; Librarians; Libraries; Library science; Research libraries; Technological innovations


Library and Information Science | Technology and Innovation


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