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 goal of the eight-year collaborative study was to put innovative entrepreneurs under a microscope and attempt to determine how they came up with their innovative ideas. 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. 4). The central question that was proposed to these individuals was, “Do I know how to generate innovative, even disruptive, business ideas? And do I know how to find creative people or how to train people to think outside the box? These are questions that seem to stump senior executives, who understand that the ability to innovate is the ‘secret sauce’ of business success. (pg. 7)” Their research had led them to identify five discovery skills that differentiate creative executives from executives. These were associating, questioning, observing, networking and experimenting. By innovators developing these skills, they are able to produce services and products that are superior to their competitors. However, the book also states that just because an idea is innovative, it does not guarantee the result will always be a financial success. So, one must be mindful of the fact that these discovery skills are critical for creating innovative business ideas, but they don’t always ensure success.