Copy. Transform. Combine.
If you haven't already, you should stop what you're doing and check out Everything is a Remix Part 3 which is the latest video in Kirby Ferguson's wonderful series about creation and innovation.
I wholeheartedly agree with his three basic elements of creativity: copy, transform, and combine.
The video does an excellent job at describing how those elements work together to produce innovation. One of his detailed examples is the the fabled history of the Apple Macintosh.
Well produced and well worth your time. Enjoy!