When someone introduces us to a piece of research that suggests we do something differently in our clinical practice, do we realise that what we are dealing with is an innovation? If we want to learn ourselves, or encourage fellow clinicians to learn, the skills to question clinical decisions, to search for evidence, to appraise it, to implement it and to evaluate it, do we realise that these are all innovations? When we change the way we interact with our patients so that we blend our research knowledge with their values, does this strike us as an innovation? Each is an innovation because an innovation is any thing or idea that is new to the individual. Such a thing or idea may have been around for many years even though it is new to the person coming across it – or deciding to adopt it. It may well be a brand new way of listening to music or of flying through air, but it may be as down to earth as using peat-free compost in the garden or printing your name beneath your signature in your patient records. So what if the adoption of new practices and attitudes towards research – or the implementation of new research findings – are innovations for individual clinicians every day around the world?