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What Is Continuous Innovation

Learn about continuous innovation at UC San Diego.

Noun: modest, incremental, ongoing upgrades or enhancements of existing technologies, services or products.

But it’s even more than that.

Continuous innovation is more than just incremental changes. It relates to the ongoing, gradual evolution that occurs in our activities, operations, and creations. The majority of innovation happens at the incremental level, and when done deliberately, it drives organizations forward one project, change, and idea at a time. It occurs across all levels and all functions in an organization.

Related topics include:

  • Continuous Improvement: a method for identifying opportunities for streamlined tasks and reduced waste
    Example: Lean Six Sigma or Business Process Management
  • Operational Excellence: aligning organizational resources toward sustainable improvement
    Example: Key Performance Metrics
  • Change Capability and Organizational Readiness: Assesses tolerance for change and ability to transition
    Example: Change Management
  • Innovative Thinking: The science of innovation, including processes and methodologies to increase diversity of thought
    Example: Design Thinking
  • Culture: The underlying spirit and principles guiding an organization and the decisions it makes
    Example: People factors, History