“Continuously expand the list of technologies you are knowledgeable about and combine those technologies in novel ways to create valuable solutions.”
The cultivation of easily available, functional conceptual vocabularies would have to be an obligatory element in any program to promote or encourage innovation. There does seem to be a bit of an emerging trend to try attempt to formalise innovation in the “One True Way” of being usefully creative, more often perhaps a matter of authorial or corporate self-interest but nevertheless at least partially misguided; it may also be a reflexive fact of culture, psychology and active comprehension that narrative-directed, teleological thinking confines goals into narrow, fragile and inflexible parameters of “best practices” and formal (i.e. axiomatic) organisational systems, defeating the very reasons for, and generative source of, the open-ended creativity which innovation must surely have to exhibit.
If innovation is in essence “useful creativity”, and creativity itself is perhaps at least partially defined as unguided, reflective practice – the best we can do in attempting to encourage innovation is to massage the ambiguities and uncertainties, the complexities and aspirational vectors of research or thought, into general directions.