We need to explore the relationship between Imagineering and Innovation in detail, and a good place to start is with the dictionary definitions. We will start with Innovation, which has two definitions.
A new idea, device, or method
The act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods
The implementation of creative ideas into practical form
These two definitions obviously overlap appreciably, but they are also significantly different. The difference can be characterized by the nature of the two key words in the above definitions: introducing versus implementation.
We need to remember that the vast majority of ideas are not successful. For an idea to be successful it needs to be implemented as well as be introduced. New ideas can be successful, and a few of them are, but most of them are not. If we add the term successful to innovation it becomes essentially equivalent to imagineering. But in the very large number of discussions of innovation and books on innovation the implementation issues are very often not given sufficient attention. Have you ever seen the word completivity before, or anything equivalent to it? Did you know that far less than one percent of patented ideas ever achieve actual success in the field?
Literally every discussion or book on innovation covers the subject of creativity in detail. But creativity is nowhere near enough to reach success in the field. Completivity involves a lot of very ingenious thinking and hard work, sometimes harder than what is needed for the creativity side. This will become clear as the discussion continues.
Imagineering is a better term to describe what is needed for new ideas to reach success in the difficulty of the real world than Innovation.