It all depends on the impact to the users. And sometimes it’s impossible to know at the time – a small change may have big impacts that weren’t expected.
If you can’t describe what the impacts on the users are, when pitching the idea, then it would be a bit of a stretch to say that it will be a revolutionary idea because you can’t quantify it.
What this also means is that words like ‘radical’ and ‘revolutionary’ are reserved soley for the users, not the business. A ‘radical new solution’ can only be judged as such by the people who are using it, not the people who are selling it.
Taking this one step further, when a company wants to consider new approaches, the immediate focus needs to be on the impacts to the users, not just internal benefits to the company (unless the users are the business themselves). Justifying the time and effort on an innovation iniative can’t be done without describing the expected impacts.
If the impacts can’t be described, then right now, it’s just an improvement.
Scott Berkun has an interesting article on this, and here’s something I posted earlier.