Harvard Business Review has an interesting article about How Do Innovators Think? The entire article is a good read, but here is the list of capabilities/tendencies of innovative people:
- Associating: Connect ideas together
- Questioning: Ask why, how, what
- Observant: Look into details
- Networking: Know who to talk to and how to reach them
We think there are far more discovery driven people in companies than anyone realizes. We’ve found that 15% of executives are deeply innovative, meaning they’ve invented a new product or started an innovative venture. But the problem is that even the most creative people are often careful about asking questions for fear of looking stupid, or because they know the organization won’t value it.
I guess the biggest challenge for R&D managers then is to develop an environment that encourages civil and constructive questioning.