Innovators, lateral thinkers, rebels, whether they indulge in incremental or disruptive innovation, they rarely can do it alone. The skills required to nurture an idea and the ones to make it a business, scale it or commercialise it are often NOT overlapping in the same person.
It’s not about more or less, it’s not about smarter or dumber, useful or useless. Actually one of the common mistakes – especially in a large company – is to think of the Innovation team like the “lucky” ones or worse the “odd” ones. It should not be. I can already hear the voices like “Innovation is a state of mind, is in the culture, everyone should innovate or think about it, bla bla”… While this is true, not what I am talking about, not what I am interested in, personally. I love to pay attention to stuff we (as a company) are NOT doing and try (a word used on purpose, carefully) to make it happen.
Back in the Innotribe days my good friend and colleague Mariela Atanassova kept saying: “You need an impresario”… She was and is still right! It that won’t change if it’s a startup, a team, a company, or a volleyball tournament.
Ideas are often useless, blind execution as well, and once you got past the stage when whatever you had in mind becomes something you can try to touch or experiment or see, you need yet another set of skills to make it last. Last as a business, as something that makes the world a better place, you name it, my point is: it’s always a perfect storm.
The ability to choose the team of avengers working with you is possibly one of the best quality you can find in an entrepreneur.