Metaphor (Photo credit: bgblogging)

When you mix and match many metaphors (as a network of analogies) sense making becomes difficult and overall point is lost in words. Within innovation circles, there are several popular metaphors that I am listing below, so next time when you talk about innovation can you try to stick to just one metaphor, and tell a better story. I am sure there are other metaphors like body parts, war that are used for innovation as well

Engine / Automobile

driving the innovation program, the steering committees, several moving parts, our well oiled innovation engine, an innovation dashboard, to accelerate the speed of innovation, a road map, to bulldoze your way with new ideas, the road ahead, a dead-end, a revolution, to create a movement, as a source of power, …

Ecosystem / Biology

Life cycle of innovation, ideas on life support, reproducing what worked elsewhere, second generation ideas, a father/godfather in the organization, heartbeat/blood/culture of, seed resources, flowing/developing/growing/nurturing/parenting ideas to innovation, our diversity, a dead idea, breathing new life, …

Betting / Gaming

the odds are against us, to bet on a future, as the outcome is random/not deterministic, to win/lose, win-win, a risk capital, to make a contrarian call, probably worth trying, evenly placed, to scoot/fold up, has a hand in it, raise the bar/bet…

Investing / Markets

Demand/Supply of ideas, not enough buyers, be overpriced, investment into innovation, our exit option/ entry barrier, size of market, the business model, to venture, derived from…

Judiciary / Legal

Judging by the looks, liable to, a willful action, intent to innovate, owned/leased/licensed ideas, comply to the terms of investment/agreement…


Innovation Metaphors


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