125 Innovation Synonyms You Should Be Using In Your Business
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125 Innovation Synonyms You Should Be Using In Your Business Right Now

Synonyms, what the heck?

Yes, being able to find other words to describe innovation can help your business.

You need to know a stack of innovation synonyms if you've got people…

  • Pushing back against innovating
  • Who don't understand how innovation can apply to them or their work/ role
  • Are scared of losing their job by making mistakes
  • That can't afford to make mistakes/ be seen to be risky
  • Who don't know what innovation means
Here's why.

Lots of people still don't really know what innovation actually means.

If you watch a few TV ads, you'll see nearly any tech product company use the word innovation, as will car companies, pharmaceutical companies, and pretty much any other company where the marketer has said let's use the word innovation.

But what does innovation actually mean?

The honest answer is not found in the dictionary.

The answer is found in the innovative things you've already done and can do in the future to improve something.

For some people, innovation is about creating an entirely new industry breaking idea.

For others, it's an excel macro formula workaround that saves someone hours if not days of work.

Some would argue it's about adapting a cutting edge trend.

While some would argue it's about discovering a fresh customer insight.

Or validating and prototyping an idea before building and going to market with it.

The truth is, they're all correct.

And that's why having innovation synonyms (having another word for innovation) is so important.

Because it means you can have everyone on the same page to understand you and what you're trying to do.

Innovation can be found in four critical areas:

  1. Generating insights - discovering emerging trends, customer frustrations, needs, desires and industry bottlenecks that provide a commercial opportunity to seize.
  2. Generating ideas - creating solutions or new ideas to solve problems or satisfy needs, fulfil desires, or improve something.
  3. Validating and prototyping - establishing whether people actually want to pay for a solution and testing whether your solution idea can effectively solve a problem or fulfil a desire.
  4. Executing and capitalising on an idea - the development or building of the idea into a commercial product/ process or service. As well as the marketing, pitching and selling of the new solution. With the goal to improve results, be they financial or from a cultural perspective.
Now that we've got the 'what innovation can mean' piece sorted, it's time to discuss how and when you can use them.

Because, believe it or not, not everyone likes innovation. 

In fact, some people will do everything they can to avoid innovating.

The reason is simple.


Research by Dr Heidi Grant, one of the world's leading motivation psychologists and others, has shown that 90% of the population has a prevention-focused motivation when at work.

This means they are motivated by making sure they don't make mistakes. 

Traditional old school innovation, that is, developing new products or service ideas before validating that people want to pay for them, is very risky.

New school innovation, the type we use and teach with our Fortune 500 clients, eliminates the risk by doing the validation upfront, so no time or money is wasted.

But most people don't know that innovation can be risk-free with these little known industry-proven techniques.

And that's why most people (over 90%) think innovation is too risky to do. Therefore they will do everything both unconsciously and consciously to thwart it, despite the incredible profits that can be gained.

This is why we need to know other words than innovation to eliminate the fear for others.
An innovation synonyms case study of one of my clients

  • Fortune 500 company. 
  • Desperately needed innovation to help them stay current and reclaim their industry leader position.
  • The processes they were using hadn't changed in 20 years.
  • They needed to innovate around process and customer experience to reclaim their top spot.

  • CEO was averse to innovation.
  • CEO thought innovation was too risky and not for their company.
  • We needed a synonym for innovation.

  • I called it a Process Improvement Program instead, despite being innovation through and through.
  • The CEO was happy with a process improvement program, and gave the green light.
  • We ran a 3 day process improvement (innovation sprint).
  • We ensured that we validated all the processes, so there was no risk.

  • The program was successful, with over 20 new process innovations that improved customer service, cost savings, profits, and helped them reclaim their top market position.
Here are the top 125 innovation synonyms you need to learn that will help your business grow without costing you your job.
Innovation Program synonyms 
  • Agility improvement/ program
  • Sprint/s
  • Hackathon
  • Idea storm
  • Brainstorm/ing session
  • Invention program
  • Start-Up Program
  • Kaizen initiative

Product Innovation Synonyms 
  • Product modernisation
  • Product modification
  • Product improvement
  • Product variation
  • Product adaptation
  • Product enhancement
  • Product regeneration
  • Product advancement
  • Product renovation
  • Product reinvention
  • Product overhaul
  • Product rejuvenation
  • Product invention
  • Product fix
  • Product desirability review

Process Innovation Synonyms 
  • Process modernisation
  • Process modification
  • Process improvement
  • Process variation
  • Process adaptation
  • Process enhancement
  • Process regeneration
  • Process advancement
  • Process renovation
  • Process reinvention
  • Process overhaul
  • Process rejuvenation
  • Process fix
  • Process invention
  • Process effectiveness review
  • Sustainability review
  • Sustainability improvement
  • IP improvement

Service/ Customer Service Innovation Synonyms
  • Service/ Customer Service modernisation
  • Service/ Customer Service modification
  • Service/ Customer Service improvement
  • Service/ Customer Service enhancement
  • Service/ Customer Service regeneration
  • Service/ Customer Service advancement
  • Service/ Customer Service reinvention
  • Service/ Customer Service overhaul
  • Service/ Customer Service rejuvenation
  • Service/ Customer Service fix
  • Service/ Customer service review

User Experience/ Customer experience Innovation Synonyms (UX/ CX) 
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Customer experience mapping
  • User experience mapping
  • CX/ UX improvement
  • Process variation
  • Process adaptation
  • CX/ UX enhancement
  • CX/ UX regeneration
  • CX/ UX advancement
  • Pain-point mapping
  • CX/ UX overhaul
  • Usability review

Insights Innovation Synonyms
  • Trend forecasting
  • Future proofing
  • Trend adaptation
  • Trend capitalisation
  • Trendspotting
  • Trend analysis
  • Bottleneck identification
  • Pinch point mapping
  • Inefficiency identification
  • Ineffectiveness identification
  • SWOT analysis
  • Future world scenario planning
  • Insight improvement
  • Insight generation
  • Customer intelligence review
  • Competitor intelligence review
  • Business intelligence review

Ideation Innovation Synonyms 
  • Problem-solving
  • Mistake prevention
  • Idea generation
  • Solution session
  • Solution improvement
  • Idea modernisation
  • Idea modification
  • Idea improvement
  • Idea variation
  • Idea adaptation
  • Idea enhancement
  • Idea regeneration
  • Idea advancement
  • Idea overhaul

Validation Innovation Synonyms 
  • Process validation
  • Product validation
  • Market validation
  • Insight validation
  • Minimal risk prototyping
  • Zero risk validation
  • Zero risk trialling
  • Zero risk experimentation
  • Zero risk pilot program
  • Pilot program reinvention

Innovation Commercialisation/ execution Synonyms 
  • Marketing reinvention
  • Value proposition review
  • Pitch creation
  • Profit projection
  • ROI analysis
  • Viability evaluation
  • Business model canvas
  • Automation
  • Logistic/s modernisation
  • Logistic/s improvement
  • Process variation
  • Technology adaptation
  • Tech enhancement
  • Logistics reinvention
  • Logistics overhaul
  • Operational fix
  • Quality improvement
  • Constructability improvement
  • Affordability review
  • Differentiation analysis

Having a list of innovation synonyms up your sleeve means you can…

  • Change the mind of someone pushing back against innovating by calling it another thing.
  • Help someone understand how innovation can apply specifically to their work/ role.
  • Eliminate their aversion to risk or fear of losing their job by making mistakes.
  • Help them understand what innovation means to them.

I hope you learn more than a few of these innovation synonyms and use them to help create your innovation business success.


Nils Vesk

PS: If you'd like to learn more about our proven minimal risk business innovation techniques and courses, or have someone come and innovate for you, contact us here.

Nils Vesk is a Four-Time Author and International Keynote Speaker. Nils has worked globally with over 200 bluechip companies including 3M, American Express, Canon, Caltex, Microsoft, Nestle´, IBM, Fuji Xerox, PWC, HP and Pfizer.

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About Nils Vesk

He's the founder of Ideas With Legs.

His  clients call him a Reinvention Renegade. Nils Vesk is an international authority on innovation and the inventor of the ‘Innovation Archetypes Process’.

Around the globe, leading companies such as Nestle, HP & Pfizer turn to Nils to share his proven innovation techniques for formulating commercial insights, ideas, extraordinary customer experiences and irresistible products.

Nils unpacks the million-dollar innovation principles used to create rapid growth for the future.

Nils is the author of a number of books including "Ideas With Legs - How to Create Brilliant Ideas and Bring Them to Life", and "Innovation Archetypes - Principles for World Class Innovation".

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