There is a need for individual‐level research into innovation, which departs from the traditions of mainstream creativity research. A working definition is given which enables innovation to be distinguished from creativity, and a qualitative study, examining individual experiences of innovation, is described. Unstructured interviews were carried out with 27 people in managerial or professional jobs, eliciting descriptive accounts of individual experiences of innovation at work. Transcripts of these interviews were content‐analysed, and the findings are discussed here under three headings: facilitators and inhibitors of innovation, reactions to innovations, and strategies for the management of innovation. Implications are drawn for future research in this area.