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Innovation Quotes

A warm welcome to the innovation quotes page.

On this page, I intend to list interesting quotes that I find on the topic of innovation.

innovation quotes

Below are a few innovation quotes to start:

“If you find it difficult to accept failure then you simply won’t get any innovation because employees will be too frightened”
– Sir Terry Leahy (Tesco)

“We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy.”
– Gary Hamel

“What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.”
– Walter Bagehot

“There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.”
– Martha Graham

“As the births of living creatures at first are ill shaped, so are all innovations, which are the births of time. Surely every medicine is an innovation and he that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.”
– Francis Bacon

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”
– Theodore Levitt

“Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form.”
– Watts Humphrey

“Innovation grows out of membership and a sure sense of responsibility people feel for their work and the organizations that employ them.”
– Abraham Zaleznick

“The innovation point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams.”
– W. Arthur Porter

“Innovation is the process of implementing new ideas, of turning creative concepts into realities. For our purposes, there is a more meaningful concept, that of “effective innovation,” which can benefit business. Effective innovation is the timely and efficient implementation of new ideas that result in significantly increased revenues and profits.”
– George Freedman

“To most observers, innovation is a solitary process that requires creativity and genius, perhaps even greatness. It can’t, in their view, be managed or predicted, just hoped for and, perhaps, facilitated. But for me, innovation was and still is more than that. It was a battle in the marketplace between innovators or attackers trying to make money by changing the order of things, and defenders protecting their cash flow.”
– Richard Foster

“The industrial landscape is already littered with remains of once successful companies that could not adapt their strategic vision to altered conditions of competition.”
– Abernathy, Clark & Kantrow

“To meet the demands of the fast-changing competitive scene, we must simply learn to love change as much as we have hated it in the past.”
– Tom Peters

“Innovation endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth or creates a resource. Innovation is the procedure of implementing new ideas, of turning creative concepts into realities. Innovation can occur in all areas-Technical, Social, Political, Economic. Innovation in one area always affects the other areas. Innovation can cause change or exploit change. Systematic innovation which exploits change is generally the most effective.”
– Donna Prestwood & Paul Schumann

“There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.”
– Charles Baudelaire

More innovation quotes follow…

“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.”
– Joline Godfrey

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
– Woody Allen (American Actor, Author, Screenwriter and Film Director)

“Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement, and progress”
– Ted Levitt (was an American economist and professor at Harvard Business School)

“Not to innovate is to die.”
– Christopher Freeman (English economist and business cycle theorist)

“Innovation is a risky business, but not innovating is even riskier”
– Anonymous

And more innovation quotes…

“Do something. Do something to that, and then do something to that. Pretty soon you’ve got something.”
—Jasper Johns, painter

“There is a wide agreement that innovation is the best way to sustain economic prosperity. Innovation increases productivity, and productivity increases the possibility of higher income, higher profits, new jobs, new products, and a prosperous economy. Once you open the curtains to the world economy, you see the sunlight. It’s not all cloudy. We need to transform smart ideas that tackle and address real problems into products and services that everybody wants.”
— Tapan Munroe, economist

“When you’re in a situation where you’ve really got to be judicious, to do more with less, that really drives a need for innovation and a level of creativity that you might not otherwise have in normal times. Increased innovation doesn’t always have to be about more dollars. It’s about how you use those dollars.”
— Adalio Sanchez, IBM Manager

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

“During the past two centuries, innovation has more than doubled our life span and given us cheap energy and more food. If we project what the world will be like 10 years from now without continuing innovation in health, energy or food, the picture is dark.”
– Bill Gates

“Innovation is the essence of business”
– Fazli Wadood

“Innovation is the breaking of the wall of thoughts for a remould, yet, integrated into everyday living as if it was expected and needed.”
– David Lanre Messan

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
– Woody Allens

“Innovation is the Inspiration behind Success.”

“Success is the Inspiration behind Innovation.”
– Calven Bland

“Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet with your company’s name on it. You’ve got one option now – to shoot first. You’ve got to out innovate the innovators.”
– Gary Hamel – Management Expert

“The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret to outward success.”
– Henry Ward Beecher – Clergyman, Abolitionist

“Right now the ability to innovate is not just critical to success. It is simply a requisite for survival. But the nature of innovation is changing. It is less about ‘eureka moments’ or silver bullet breakthroughs than about responding quickly to challenges, adopting new ideas and moving fast to seize opportunities.”
– Ruth Spellman – (Chartered Management Institute)


“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”


“I start where the last man left off.”

“Invention is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”


“The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present, the decline will be fast.”

“Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation.”

“Business has only two basic functions: Marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results. All the rest are costs.”

“Systematic Innovation consists in the purposeful and organized search for changes, and in the systematic analysis of the opportunities such changes might offer for economic or social innovation”

“Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze.”

And Peter Drucker’s core principles of innovation… “Innovation is an effect in economy and society, a change in the behavior of customers … of people in general,” Drucker wrote. “Or it is a change in a process—that is, in how people work and produce something. Innovation therefore always has to be close to the market, focused on the market, indeed market-driven.”

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