7 Traits Of An Innovator

  • Feb 24, 2017

Seven Traits Of An Innovator by James Bertrand

Innovation is critical to business. Why? Well, you can't just keep doing the same things over and over again, and expect increasingly better results. You have to strive to improve, do things differently and exceed your customers' expectations. An outcome of innovation might be a product that's even better—and more profitable—than your flagship product.
Here are seven traits of an innovator, as described by Naomi Simson, founder of RedBallon.com.au, a company that creates and sells "experiences."

1. Visionary: Do you operate with a sense of purpose knowing the overall direction that you (and your business) are heading? Innovation often comes from connecting a problem to the overall purpose or strategy of the enterprise.
2. Curious: You challenge the status quo, how things are done and you ask a lot of questions. "Why" is one of those words you use regularly. You read a lot, and learn as much as you can; you have a thirst for knowledge.
3. Persistent: If the problem seems hard, or unresolvable, you don't give in. You are a dog with a bone not wanting to let it go. You ask yourself, "What will it take to fix this thing?" You know that real change takes consistent effort and energy.
4. Adaptable: You might be persistent and stick with things, but you also listen, learn and adapt. Your way is not always the right way—you gather other people's insights, and remain flexible and open-minded.
5. Risk Taker: You have given up your fear of taking risks and putting yourself out there; you know that part of success is the ability to fail, pick yourself up and keep going. You learn from your mistakes and you discover the cost and benefit return of failing, and you are willing to give it a try repeatedly.
6. Positive: You do believe that the world could be a slightly better place because of the work you do. You want to improve and are continually optimistic about the potential outcomes of your innovation. You are not a perfectionist and know that the world is not perfect. You are able to say "This is enough" to test the concept or produce a minimally viable product (concept) to get in front of others to get their insights.
7. Woo: You have a natural ability to sell your ideas and bring others with you on the journey. You are strong emotionally and don't fear rejection—you know that as a trailblazer you will often be out in front and on your own. You love it, you thrive on bringing other people along the way and you have an ability to woo people (win others over) with your natural enthusiasm for your project.