Difference Between Change and Innovation: Change and innovation are often wrongly interchanged. Many people mistake them as synonyms of each other but this is incorrect and misleading. The core essence, means of actualization as well as the end results of these two phenomena are different. Change and innovation are critical for growth and development in this fast developing world of ours. That is why it is important to understand what exactly they mean and how to employ them in achieving the needed results in our businesses, career, education and life in general.
Change is a migration from how things are to a different dimension. It can be negative or positive. The price of a commodity may be $1 today and next year it changes to $2. You can see and compare the change because it is different from what it was last year. However, innovation is a product of revolutionary ideas.
The inventors of the aeroplane were innovative because before the creation of aeroplanes, there was nothing like it. It was not just a mere modification of the car or train. It left the ground altogether.
In this piece, we shall be looking at the core features of change and innovation in order to decipher the discrepancies or any similarity that exists between them. To begin with, let us attempt a definition of these concepts.
Meaning of Change and Innovation
What is Change?
Change is simply the difference in the way a particular thing or event is from one time to another. It is a shift or alteration in the state of affairs at various times.
What is Innovation?
Innovation, is the advent of novel, different or uncommon ideas, methods or devices into the world.
Features of Change and Innovation
a. Comparability: Innovation is usually not comparable to past events or status quo. It just comes fresh and new unlike change which requires a study of past or present circumstances in order to bring about a improvement in the state of affairs and which you can compare to what is or has been.
b. Problem: Change works to find improvement to the already existing solutions to a need or problem but innovation brings about fresh answers to problems that had existed without any solutions.
c. Knowledge: While change requires past knowledge and information to happen, Innovation doesn’t. Change often comes by the remodelling or departure from the way things were before but innovation has no need for what is in the past.
d. Duration of Occurrence: For change, it is a non-ending venture: finding out what is the current state of affairs and improving on it. For innovation, however, it is a one-off thing that requires bringing new ideas and ways to the table.
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Differences Between Change and Innovation
1. The Originations of Change and Innovation are Different: Change begins from what is currently available— the status quo. It is borne out of a strong desire to modify the current state of affairs, to make the world different from what it is right now.
Innovation starts by picturing a particular new and nonexistent state of affairs. It starts-off by having a totally different thought pattern and has no business with the way things were.
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2. Outside-in or Inside-out Approach: While change has an outside-in strategy, innovation works from inside to outside. Change is mechanical, not requiring radical alterations in people’s lifestyle. All that is required is acclimatization to the new position of things.
The inside-out approach of innovation means that it begins from the person or entity, thus, causing alterations in the behavior patterns of the person or entity. It begins with a change in the method of thinking and our impact on the grand scheme of things. It explores how by self-determination, hsrdwork and purposeful attitude, new solutions can be created.
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3. Change is Incidental While Innovation is Structural: Change has to do with altering or remodelling already existing principles, processes and state of things with a view to achieving a different and better outcome. For instance, you might decide to rearrange your office such that it looks different from what it is like now. That is change. It doesn’t necessarily change the fact that it is your office nor does it affect the work you do there. You just have better aesthetics and view than before the rearrangement. Continuous change does not translate to innovation.
Innovation is structural because it goes to the root of the organization, entity or thing that will be affected. It is a whole new concept built from the scratch with its own peculiar features and components. It is major and requires new principles. It happens once and goes through a tough process of trials and errors to attain the desired goals.
4. Change is Associated With Certainty: The goal of change is usually to get people to be used to a different system of things, little by little. The strategies to achieve this goal is usually spelt out and the desired outcome is certain. Possible risks are also taken into consideration and deviation from the set pattern or way is highly discouraged.
Innovation is concerned with managing uncertainties and finding a way to accommodate unprecedented occurrences. At the onset, the goal may not be clear but as you graduate through the process, you direct your thoughts and actions in the right path to achieve the required results. It is a path fraught with risks and challenges which you have to manoeuvre to your advantage in order to discover the hidden opportunities therein.
5. Change Focuses on Administration while Innovation is Transformational: Change tries to take over and manage the current state of affairs in order to bring solutions to current problems. It alters and optimizes existing systems and processes to bring about better solutions.
The transformational approach of innovation means that it is based on reinvention. Thinking from a totally different dimension to bring about ideas that completely shake up the way things are done. It involves seeking for novel opportunities and turning them into sustainable solutions that will keep being beneficial for years to come. To hit this aim of transformation, innovation requires dexterity, hardwork, creativity and a grave desire to provide long lasting solutions to problems.
6. Innovation Unlike Change, Works with Philosophy and Vision: Changing how a thing, structure or condition is involves simply modifying or altering what is already on ground. There is barely any need to work in line with a particular identity or vision.
However, innovation thrives on identity and vision. For innovation to come to fruition, there must be a proper understanding of the origins, values, message and vision of the whole project. These are the fundamental hallmarks of innovative solutions.
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Despite the fact that change and innovation work very well together to provide solutions to issues, they are by no means the same thing. There can be a meeting ground if they are managed prudently to attain desired heights. It is important that you understand the true meanings, differences and imports of these concepts so that you don’t make the mistake of using one term for the other.
Understanding the difference between change and innovation is also key to knowing where to begin your creative process and we believe you have achieved that from this piece.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.