innovation [noun] – context violating exaptation.
Ever since I read this tweet in 2012 by Fast Company, I have redefined innovation in this way.
"Innovation thrives on context violations and exaptation": http://t.co/cQDhEKMW
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) October 2, 2012
Here is the first definition of exaptation from Dictionary.com.
1. a process in which a feature acquires a function that was not acquired through natural selection.
By taking something or a combination of things and applying it to a purpose to which it was not intended (violating its original context), one may discover that it is well-suited to perform a different function. This discovery becomes an innovation.