True Innovators: 10 Insights That Define Them

This post originally appeared on Stefan Lindegaard’s innovation focused blog 15inno. Stefan is a speaker, author and strategic advisor who focuses on the topics of open innovation, social media and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and visit his blog.

There are many ways to identify true innovators. Let me start out with five sentences that really annoy true innovators. This will not work. We have already tried something similar. True innovators know that many things have already been tried before, but they see the flaws of previous failures and/or add new elements that raise the likelihood of success. I like your idea, but I don’t think there is a market for this. Too many people are caught up with traditional views of markets. True innovators often create new markets. I am sorry, but I don’t think you have the proper experience to make this happen. True innovators know how to make things happen – this is the key ingredient for success – and they can assemble necessary skills, mindset and experience in a team. This is not the focus of our organization. Of course, you need to stay within a given strategy, but in today’s fast pace of business, companies need to re-invent themselves faster and more often than before. This opportunity is too small for us. True innovators know that everything starts small, but they also know that things can grow fast if the proper framework and conditions are in place. The good thing about true innovators is that they not only get annoyed and offended. They are capable of channeling such feelings into actions needed for innovation to happen. You just can’t keep such people down : – ) Next, you get five short sentences that in my view resemble the mindset you need in true innovators. Collaboration is not an option; it’s a requirement. As more and more innovation happens in communities, the future winners of innovation will be those who get this to work the best. [quotc]Collaboration is not an option; it’s a requirement. – @lindegaard[/quotc] Experimentation is everything. The mantra of Silicon Valley is fail often, fail fast and fail cheap – and learn from it. No wonder they are so successful in turning startups into big companies. Timing is the essence. True innovators will over time develop a knack on getting the timing right with regards to the launch of new products and/or services. They also know how to extract learning out of projects that failed because of the bad timing – being too early or too late is equally damaging. Perseverance and passion matter more than flashes of brilliance. Innovation and entrepreneurship is hard work. Period. People are everything. True innovators know that good people matter more than good ideas. There are many more ways to describe true innovators. What can you add?

Special thanks to Stefan for this content contribution. Follow him on Twitter and enjoy his innovation focused blog.

image credit: 15inno.com, thisveganlife.com

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