This is a bit of a “if a tree falls in the woods…” question, but I think it’s interesting nonetheless.

Innovation is defined by creation, but I wonder if it’s possible to be innovative by standing still.

If everyone else is doing something new, and you are sticking with what you’ve got, are you being innovative? Can you be innovative by not changing a thing?

For example, Kottke has a piece on the return of the housecall. The doctor even says “I’m a new kind of physician.” Is that innovative? Housecalls used to be the norm, and now here’s a doctor that’s doing it again. Sounds innovative to me in today’s context, but is it actually innovative? Or is it just a return to something that works?

Now, this doctor is bringing some innovation in the form of video and instant messaging, but if a doctor has been doing housecalls for 30 years, and everyone else was requiring an office visit, and then housecalls are back in vogue, is that 30-year-housecall doctor innovative?

I know this doctor example isn’t a perfect example, but hopefully it’s a good baseline for discussion.

So what do you think?