I found this piece on Innovator’s DNA from a book my wife picked titled Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina (it’s a fun read!)
This Innovator’s DNA is a result of an extensive research performed by Hal Gregersen, et al., after studied more than 3,000 innovative executives for six years.
In sumary, here are the 5 characteristics of an innovator:
1. An ability to associate creatively
2. An annoying habit of consistently asking “what if”; and “why not”
3. An unquenchable desire to tinker and experiment
4. Great at specific kind of neworking; they are attracted to smart people
5. They closely observed the details of other people’s behaviors
According to Gregersen, all of them can be summarized into one word: INQUISITIVENESS
But the most interesting one, here I quoted directly frm the book that the lead author of the study continues his statement:
“If you look a 4-year-olds, they are constantly asking questions. But by the time they are 6 1/2 years old,they stop asking questions because they quickly learn that teachers value the right answers more than provocative questions. High school students rarely show inquistiveness.
And by the time they’re grown up and are in corporate settings, they have already had the curiosity drummed out of them. Eighty percent executives spend less than 20% of their time on discovering new ideas”
Therefore, for all young and eager mind out there, I think it’s appropriate to close this posting with Steve Jobs’ message in the end of his speech at Stanford 2005 graduation:
stay hungry. stay foolish