Try spending 15 to 30 minutes each day writing down 10 new questions that challenge the status quo in your company or industry. Jeff Bezos wants to “make history,” Steve Jobs to “put a ding in the universe,” Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström to “be disruptive, but in the cause of making the world a better place.” These innovators steer entirely clear of a common cognitive bias called the status quo bias—the tendency to prefer an existing state of affairs to alternative ones. In The Innovator's DNA, the authors identify five capabilities demonstrated by the best innovators: (1) Associating: drawing connections between questions, problems, or ideas from … So they spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about how to change the world. Akio Toyoda regularly practices Toyota’s philosophy of genchi genbutsu—“going to the spot and seeing for yourself.” Frequent direct observation is baked into the Toyota culture. Perhaps for this reason, we stand in awe of visionary entrepreneurs like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. You now have access to all your subscriber benefits on HBR.org. P&G’s A.G. Lafley, for example, spent time as a student studying history in France and running retail operations on U.S. military bases in Japan. We apologize for the inconvenience. In stark contrast, senior executives of the most innovative companies—a mere 15% in our study—don’t delegate creative work. The world’s most innovative companies prosper by capitalizing on the divergent associations of their founders, executives, and employees. The central question that was proposed to these individuals was, “Do I know how to generate innovative, even disruptive, business ideas? The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators - Kindle edition by Christensen, Clayton M., Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen. In searching for answers, the study uncovered the origins of creativity, as well as the disruptive business strategies implemented in particularly innovative companies. They studied the habits of 25 innovative entrepreneurs and surveyed more than 3,000 executives and 500 individuals who had either started innovative companies or invented new products (pg. “If I had a favorite question to ask, everyone would anticipate it,” Michael Dell told us. How do these people come up with groundbreaking new ideas? Summary: Act I, scene i Antonio, a Venetian merchant, complains to his friends, Salarino and Solanio, that a sadness has overtaken him and dulled his faculties, although he is at a loss to … To introduce the concept of entrepreneurship and its historical development. The innovator’s DNA Summary This book focused directly on individual creativity in the business world and was based on a study of business innovators. “The Innovator’s DNA sheds new light on the once-mysterious art of innovation by showing that successful innovators exhibit common behavioral habits—habits that can boost anyone’s creative … (pg. I'm a subscriber, but I don't have an HBR.org account. His diverse international experience has served him well as the leader of one of the most innovative companies in the world. Likewise, Steve Jobs is able to generate idea after idea because he has spent a lifetime exploring new and unrelated things—the art of calligraphy, meditation practices in an Indian ashram, the fine details of a Mercedes-Benz. We must aggressively and proudly incorporate into our work findings and advances which were not invented here.” Scientists from CPS have solved numerous complex problems by talking with people in other fields. It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. Innovative entrepreneurship is not a genetic predisposition, it is an active endeavor. According to research by Hal Gregersen, co-author of The Innovator's DNA and executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, mastering five key skills forms the foundation for finding ideas that create value. Who do you bet will come up with the more innovative (and doable) idea? The Innovator’s DNA thoroughly documents how innovation and creativity are a function of conscious choices and behaviors. But how do they do it? Our goal was to put innovative entrepreneurs under the microscope, examining when and how they came up with the ideas on which their businesses were built. Discovering the “Innovator’s DNA” came from research among great innovators. The Innovator's DNA Summary A new classic, cited by leaders and media around the globe as a highly recommended read for anyone interested in innovation. “Our culture opens us to allowing lots of failures while harvesting the learning,” he told us. Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life, The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, The four patterns of action together help innovators. Observers try all sorts of techniques to see the world in a different light. Need help getting access? Five “discovery skills” separate true innovators from the rest of us. Innovative entrepreneurship is not a genetic predisposition, it is an active endeavor. Perhaps for this reason most of us stand in awe of the work of visionary entrepreneurs such as Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. 25. Intuit founder Scott Cook hit on the idea for Quicken financial software after two key observations. Another innovative CEO prods his managers to examine sunk-cost constraints by asking, “What if you had not already hired this person, installed this equipment, implemented this process, bought this business, or pursued this strategy? They do it themselves. To explain the entrepreneurial decision process. To strengthen experimentation, at both the individual and organizational levels, consciously approach work and life with a hypothesis-testing mind-set. Entrepreneur Frans Johansson described this phenomenon as the “Medici effect,” referring to the creative explosion in Florence when the Medici family brought together people from a wide range of disciplines—sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, and architects. HBR’s definitive articles on innovation will help your organization create breakthrough products, business models, and growth. Questioning allows innovators to break out of the status quo and consider new ideas. Embracing a mission for change makes it much easier to take risks and make mistakes. Apple’s slogan “Think Different” is inspiring but incomplete. And the good news is, if you’re not born with it, you can cultivate it. We suggest holding regular idea lunches at which you meet a few new people from diverse functions, companies, industries, or countries. Our research revealed that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely he or she is to leverage that experience to deliver innovative products, processes, or businesses. Unlike observers, who intensely watch the world, experimenters construct interactive experiences and try to provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge. “The Innovator’s DNA sheds new light on the once-mysterious art of innovation by showing that successful innovators exhibit common behavioral habits—habits that can boost anyone’s creative … “I remember it was very frustrating for the other kids when I would do this.” Asking oneself, or others, to imagine a completely different alternative can lead to truly original insights. His observations prompted insights such as building the graphical user interface to look just like its real-world counterpart (a checkbook, for example), making it easy for people to use it. Bezos’s online bookstore didn’t stay where it was after its initial success; it morphed into an online discount retailer, selling a full line of products from toys to TVs to home appliances. 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