I saw a saying recently and thought, how does this apply to innovation? It was, “Imagination is Everything.” I asked myself, “is this true in innovation?” Obviously imagination is important, but how important is it?

Edison Working on InnovationEdison stated that, “Inventors must be poets so that they may have imagination.” So while he did not say that imagination was everything, he did say it was a “must.” A must is a requirement. It is more than a key ingredient; it is an essential ingredient.

The next question is, if it is an essential ingredient, how much of innovation is imagination?   Edison answered this question with, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” So while imagination is essential, it is only a small part of having a successful innovation. What people often miss is that most of the time innovation is work. A dream is required, but without the perspiration, it is just a dream.

So, keep imagining and dreaming and looking for inspiration for innovation. In many ways, it will be everything for your innovation. And if you work your dream, you never know what you will find.