I'm not sure I really agree with this description. However, perhaps within Whirlpool this is a helpful definition, as George Box says: "all models are wrong, some are useful." Perhaps viewing innovation in this way is useful to them. Gary Hamel consults for Whirlpool and knows a great deal about innovation so who am I to judge.
Innovation continues to be an important factor for management improvement. And looking at what is working is worthwhile. I still believe innovation without other aspects of Deming's ideas (constancy or purpose, stability of management, long term thinking, not managing on visible figures alone) are likely to be less successful.