Rogers defines innovation as an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. If an idea seems new to an individual, it is an innovation.  This is a broad definition and more precision would be helpful.
Wikipedia definition of innovation: “… may refer to both radical and incremental changes in thinking, in things, in processes or in services (Mckeown, 2008). Invention that gets out in to the world is innovation. In many fields, something new must be substantially different to be innovative, not an insignificant change, e.g., in the arts, economics, business and government policy. In economics the change must increase value, customer value, or producer value. The goal of innovation is positive change, to make someone or something better. Innovation leading to increased productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy.”
One suggested definition: An idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption with the goal of positive change; e.g., increasing productivity, improving patient care, lowering costs.
- Rogers, E., Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition, 2003, New York, NY: Free Press.