I've been going back and looking at past shows that had guests in an attempt to trigger ideas for new guests we should invite to be on the show. During the process, I started to see patterns of common attributes across this group that I label as the most the innovative people I've interviewed.
The show archive goes back to March 2005 and we've had more than 100 innovation experts and authors. These guests range from:
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the world-wide web — was on the show Dec 10, 2009
- Geoffrey Moore – author of Crossing The Chasm — was most recently on the show July 17, 2015
- Bob Metcalfe – inventor of Ethernet and co-founder of 3COM — was on the show April 10, 2010
- Peter Guber – co-owner of the Golden State Warriors — was on the show Sept 28, 2015
- Nick Titus – co-founder of Myoinc Technologies — was on the show Aug 23, 2016
I've also had the benefit of meeting and supporting other leaders with their innovation projects including Elon Musk (on the large display that is part of the dash in Tesla), Jimmy Iovine (on Beats and bringing it to the consumer electronics market) and Will.I.Am (as a sounding board on his software ideas).
6 Most Common Attributes of the Most Innovative People I've Interviewed
- Curiosity: Highly innovative people have an insatiable level of curiosity. How do they exhibit this curiosity? By asking really great questions. Its through questions that they push to discover more about problem or opportunity and thus allow them to form an ideas or solution.
- Being a non-conformist (brave): These innovation leaders do not fall into a simple category of type or backgrounds. They each have gone their own way to achieve their innovation vision and they've done it without regard to what others thing.
- Chasing the “new”: Innovation leaders are always aware of the latest thing in their area of interest(s). They pride themselves on being on the leading edge – always experimenting and learning. In the technology world, they tend to have the latest devices, applications and services.
- Perseverance: They don't take “no” for an answer. They don't let speed bumps, distraction or corporate/innovation antibodies to get in the way. They find ways to work with and around others to achieve their innovation vision.
- Highly Flexible: Its rare that an idea will manifest itself with out changes and pivots along the way. Highly innovative people will adjust and change as they move along the process of transforming the idea into that new product or service.
- Takes Action: Innovators don't wait around for permission. They act. They don't let themselves get caught in the “resource trap” of believing they need people, time and money to begin. They find a way to start moving forward and let the rest catch-up.
Most people would look at the show guests and believe that each had been blessed with some kind of “super power”. The reality is that we all have been blessed with the superpower of creativity and innovation — we just need to find it, harness it, practice it and then use it.
These attributes of the most innovative people I know proves that any of us can achieve the same level of success if we want.
The ball is in your court.