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Innovation in policing
Innovation in policing

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2.1 Incremental innovation

Incremental innovation refers to small, careful refinements or modifications made to existing services or processes. These small changes can help them evolve and make them ‘better’ through an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary approach to innovation.

As it involves the slow and gradual refinement of what already exists and is known, incremental innovation can often be regarded as a safer option. In practice, this cautious approach can mean that while incremental innovations might lack the ‘glamour’ of radical innovations, they are much more common.

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Figure 3Incremental (evolutionary) innovation vs radical (revolutionary) innovation

One relatively well-known example of long-term incremental innovation is the Boeing 737. Having first taken to the air in 1967, the 737 is still in service and has gone through four generations and at least 13 variants, each slightly different to those that have gone before.

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Figure 4 A Boeing 737 in flight

The power of incremental innovation should by no means be underestimated: over time, significant changes can result!