The Top Quotes on Innovation

Innovation is important for business professionals, teams, and organizations. Included in the quotes below are deep insights about how to apply innovation strategy in business.



  1. Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way. –Michael Vance
  2. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. –Steve Jobs
  3. Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity. –Michael Porter
  4. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that resources with a new capacity to create wealth. –Peter Drucker
  5. Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure. –Albert Einstein
  6. Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation. –Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  7. Innovation by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires “courageous patience. –Warren Bennis
  8. Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form. –Watts Humprey
  9. Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. –William Pollard
  10. We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent. –Jeff Bezos
  11. Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined. –Peter Drucker
  12. Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. –Steve Jobs
  13. The real source of wealth and capital in this new era is not material things.. it is the human mind, the human spirit, the human imagination, and our faith in the future. –Steve Forbes
  14. Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction. –Picasso
  15. Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before. –Margaret J. Wheatley
  16. 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. –Peter Drucker
  17. If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster  horse. –Henry Ford
  18. We don’t have a traditional strategy process, planning process like you’d find in traditional technology companies. It allows Google to innovate very, very quickly, which I think is a real strength of the company. –Eric Schmidt
  19. I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate. –Jeff Bezos
  20. I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things. –Steve Jobs
  21. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. –Steve Jobs
  22. Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell. –Elon Musk
  23. By questioning all the aspects of our business, we continuously inject improvement and innovation into our culture. –Michael Dell
  24. There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. –Brene Brown
  25. I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been. –Sam Walton
  26. Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation. –Milan Kundera
  27. I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to innovate to improve people’s lives, not to become a pesky, spam-crazy nuisance. –Cliff Lerner
  28. When a competitor starts copying your features, you can pretty much write them off completely, as it means they ran out of innovative ideas. –Cliff Lerner
  29. The value of an idea lies in the using of it. –Thomas Edison
  30. Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. –William Pollard
  31. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. –Howard Aiken
  32. If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied. –Alfred Nobel
  33. 99 percent of success is built on failure. –Charles Kettering
  34. Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things. –Theodore Levitt
  35. Dreamers are mocked as impractical. The truth is they are the most practical, as their innovations lead to progress and a better way of life for all of us. –Robin Sharma
  36. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou
  37. Innovation is taking two things that exist and putting them together in a new way. –Tom Freston
  38. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. –Brene Brown
  39. You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level. –Albert Einstein
  40. The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. –Albert Einstein
  41. Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress. –Li Keqiang
  42. Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go. –Steven Jeffes
  43. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death. –Steven Pressfield
  44. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. –Anais Nin
  45. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
  46. Whatever has happened in my quest for innovation has been part of my quest for immaculate reality. –George Lucas
  47. There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on. –Michael Eisner
  48. Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. –Helen Keller
  49. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  50. The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. –Arthur C. Clarke
  51. Innovation is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. –Dr. Albert, Szent Györgyi
  52. The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child. –Thomas Edison
  53. The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions. –Antony Jay
  54. Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse. –Winston Churchill
  55. We must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic. –Winston Churchill
  56. No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered. –Winston Churchill
  57. What is now proved was once only imagined. –William Blake
  58. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect. –Steven Johnson
  59. The way to succeed is to double your failure rate. –Thomas Watson
  60. Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction. –Pablo Picasso
  61. You can expect no influence if you are not susceptible to influence. –Carl Jung
  62. The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites. –Carl Jung
  63. Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. –Voltaire
  64. Innovation is the calling card of the future. –Anna Eshoo
  65. Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. –J. K. Rowling
  66. There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come. –Victor Hugo
  67. If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. –Albert Einstein
  68. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. –Abraham Maslow
  69. It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t. –Harvard Business Review
  70. Necessity is the mother of invention. –Anonymous
  71. We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish. –John Culkin
  72. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. –Alfred North Whitehead
  73. The stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones. –Unknown
  74. Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices. –L. Duncan
  75. We have approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day. Unfortunately, 95% of them are thoughts we had the day before. –Deepak Chopra
  76. Ideas are useless unless used. –T. Levitt
  77. Innovation is anything, but business as usual. –Anonymous
  78. Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things. –Theodore Levitt
  79. Swipe from the best, then adapt. –Tom Peters
  80. Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up. –Pablo Picasso
  81. A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind. –Antoine Saint-Exupery
  82. If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. –Peter F. Drucker
  83. Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. –Scott Adams
  84. Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing. Their driving focus is the life force that surges in them now. –Alan Cohen
  85. Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. –David Lloyd George
  86. What we’ve done to encourage innovation is make it ordinary. –C. Wynett
  87. Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream. –W.C. Fields
  88. I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones. –John Cage
  89. Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. –Jonas Salk
  90. The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. –John Maynard Keynes
  91. 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. –Steve Jobs
  92. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. –Steve Jobs
  93. To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of discipline. –Steve Jobs
  94. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. –Steve Jobs
  95. That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. –Steve Jobs
  96. I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed. –Steve Jobs
  97. I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next. –Steve Jobs
  98. Things don’t have to change the world to be important. –Steve Jobs
  99. You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around. –Steve Jobs
  100. Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. –Steve Jobs
  101. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. –Steve Jobs
  102. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. –Steve Jobs
  103. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. –Steve Jobs
  104. Don’t let the noise of other’s’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. –Steve Jobs
  105. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
  106. Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently; they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. –Steve Jobs
  107. What is the calculus of innovation? The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth. –William Brody
  108. Innovation takes birth in sync with the evolution of customer’s expectations and demands or vice versa. Either way, organizations around the world have to continually innovate themselves and keep up with the people’s wants. The failure to do so or being indifferent to your customer’s need will make your competitors win. And then suddenly, customers become indifferent to you- a high-risk gamble to play at. –Ketan Kapoor
  109. The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new. –Socrates 
  110. When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills. –Ancient Chinese Proverb
  111. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. –George Bernard Shaw
  112. To stay ahead in innovation, look at horizontal industries and the ones leading your current industry, someone is always doing something new. —Jeff Butler
  113. The best way to predict the future is to create it. –Alan Kay
  114. I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. –Wayne Gretzky
  115. Innovation is progress in the face of tradition. –Divad
  116. You can’t allow tradition to get in the way of innovation. There’s a need to respect the past, but it’s a mistake to revere your past. –Bob Iger
  117. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. –Allegedly Albert Einstein
  118. Most innovation involves doing the things we do every day a little bit better rather than creating something completely new and different. –Darin
  119. They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. –Andy Warhol
  120. Don’t be afraid to take big steps when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. –David Lloyd George
  121. The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo. –Bob Iger
  122. Be an innovator, not an imitator. –Audrey Carballo
  123. There’s a way to do it better. Find it. –Thomas Edison
  124. Innovation comes from saying NO to 1000 things. –Steve Jobs
  125. Innovation survives only when people believe in their own ideas. –Levo League
  126. There’s always an element of chance and you must be willing to live with that element. If you insist on certainty, you will paralyze yourself. –J.P. Getty
  127. If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. –Albert Einstein
  128. Confusion is a word we have invented for an order that is not yet understood. –Henry Miller
  129. When looking to innovate—fail forward. Innovation can be a chaotic process, embrace it and learn from your failures. –Luke Wester
  130. If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. –Woody Allen
  131. About 95 percent of new products fail. –Clayton Christensen
  132. Innovation is more likely to come from a person who sits down and does the same thing every single day until they become an expert than from a person who sits down once because they feel inspired. –Stacy Caprio
  133. A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. –William Shedd
  134. Innovation-any new idea-by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience –Warren Bennis
  135. What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Fail. Try again. Change the world. –Simon Sinek
  136. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. –Thomas Edison
  137. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. –Lee Iacocca
  138. Listen to anyone with an original idea, no matter how absurd it may sound at first. If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need. –William McKnight
  139. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. –John Steinbeck
  140. A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization. –Ciputra
  141. Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. –George Patton
  142. You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. –Albert Einstein
  143. The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away. –Linus Pauling
  144. It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date. –Roger von Oech
  145. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. –Wayne Gretzky
  146. He who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. –Ancient Chinese proverb
  147. Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. –Johann Goethe
  148. Short cuts make long delays. –J.R.R. Tolkien
  149. The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  150. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou what the world needs most are dreamers that do. –Sarah Ban Breathnach
  151. They did not know it was impossible so they did it. –Mark Twain
  152. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. –Abraham Maslow
  153. Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there. –Barbara Corcoran
  154. Modern society is built upon two things: truth, which is discovered, and innovation, which is created. –True Tamplin
  155. When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. –Elon Musk
  156. For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate. –Margaret Heffernan
  157. Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. –William Pollard
  158. Never confuse motion with action. –Ernest Hemingway
  159. For my first show at ‘SNL’, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, ‘Okay, that happened, and I did not die.’ You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it. –Tina Fey
  160. Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. –Thomas Dewar
  161. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. –Albert Einstein
  162. I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later. –Miles Davis
  163. If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong. –Charles Kettering
  164. Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself. –Robert Louis Stevenson
  165. I want to put a ding in the universe. — Steve Jobs
  166. I will act as if what I do will make a difference. –William James
  167. The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. –F. Scott Fitzgerald
  168. Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are. –Frank G. Goble
  169. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. –Bertrand Russell
  170. Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through. –Robert M. Hayes
  171. Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. –George Lois
  172. No matter how well you perform, there’s always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it’s lousy. –Sir Laurence Olivier
  173. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  174. 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. –Peter Drucker
  175. Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn’t do nothing. –Duke Ellington
  176. The man with a new idea is a crank – until the idea succeeds. –Mark Twain
  177. The silly question is the first intimation of some totally new development. –Alfred North Whitehead
  178. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. –Victor Hugo
  179. Systems die; instincts remain. –Oliver Wendell Holmes
  180. You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. –Charles Buxton
  181. Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission. –Peter Drucker
  182. One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  183. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead
  184. Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze. –Peter Drucker
  185. You can only be as good as you dare to be bad. –John Barrymore
  186. If the creator has a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely would have meant for us to stick it out. –Arthur Koestler
  187. Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. –Emile Chartier
  188. The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. –Albert Einstein
  189. Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. –Jonathan Swift
  190. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. –Gordon MacKenzie
  191. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. –Fyodor Dostoevsky
  192. 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
  193. I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch. –Lily Tomlin
  194. Imagination is more important than knowledge. –Albert Einstein
  195. Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress. –Niels Bohr
  196. Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. –William Pollard.
  197. Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation. –Milan Kundera
  198. Innovation is change that unlocks new value. –Jamie Notter
  199. Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea. –Sam Walton
  200. When you see only problems, you’re not seeing clearly. –Phil Knight