Innovators, personalities and electrocuted elephants
Recently was issued an article about the personalities that innovators must goldsmith to create ideas, create value out of them, execute a plan to make those ideas tangible and commercialize them successfully. Dr. Shankar Venugopal is the author of the article called “Four Faces of an Innovator” and ensures that the creation of valuable innovation requires individuals to hone the following personalities:
1) Innovators must focus on knowledge to create valuable ideas.
2) Innovators must be strategic thinkers to take the idea to customers.
3) Innovators must focus on execution to make the idea to happen.
4) Innovators must be money makers to successfully achieve on the market.
Well the idea is interesting but I doubt that an innovator can manage such amount of personalities in his own persona even if he tries one at the time. The last time that I read about an idea of adopt different types of thinking was the six hats of Edward de Bono where he suggests that a problem must be solved thinking in:
1) White Hat, focus on facts and figures
2) Red Hat, focus on emotions and feelings
3) Black Hat, cautions and careful
4) Yellow Hat, speculative-positive
5) Green Hat, creativity thinking
6) Blue Hat, control of thinking.
Taking advantage of the DeBono’s six hats, and wearing the red hat, what troubles me about the idea to embrace different personalities is that there is too much to swallow by a single person, even if we ignore that normally we hold a single personality, unless you are bi polar, if we take the example of Steve Jobs work, we can agreed that the ideas and the strategic thinking came from Jobs, however execution of ideas came from others, like Jonathan Ive, and the money maker at the end perhaps materialized on Tim Cook.
My personal feeling is that an innovator undeniable role of create ideas and strategically wait for the correct moment to put them on the table is his predominant role, however the goldsmith of the ideas and the tracking of the market of such ideas not necessarily is 100% role of the innovator, however the enterprise most embrace all of them with no doubt.
Finally Dr Shankar makes a remark: “Tesla’s great idea of connecting the world (wireless) got killed because his financier could not figure out how to make money out of it” what I believe really killed Nikola Tesla innovations was his spooky technology and the fact that Edison, his most gentleness opponent, used to electrocute elephants on public with Tesla’s AC power technology, that menaced DC’s Edison power, even nowadays Testla’s ideas to wireless energy still on development, Jim Schauesler, senior technical marketing manager for portable products from Palm incorporated presented on CES 2007 a prototype to wireless power by magnetic coupling to charge cell phones, and quoted “But we see this as a long adoption cycle, on the order of 5 to 10 years” Was Tesla’s issue an financer flaw or just Tesla’s ideas were ahead of time?
My conclusion, innovators cannot swallow all! Barely can chew our own thoughts and put them together to change the world!
1) Venugopal Shankar “Four Faces of an Innovator” http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/08/05/four-faces-of-an-innovator/ USA August 2012. Recovered August 2012.
2) Issacson, Walter “Steve Jobs” Simon & Schunters USA 2010.
3) Merritt, Rick “Cellphones warm up to magnetic coupling” http://www.eetimes.com/design/analog-design/4006352/Cellphones-warm-up-to-magnetic-coupling June 2009, recovered August 2012.