Traits of a True Innovator

A true innovator is someone who brings new thoughts, ideas and products to the world. Like David Walsh Bronxville, who invented the Automated Trading System that revolutionized Wallstreet, an innovator uses their knowledge and skills to develop a novel idea. Most innovators have some traits in common.


They Take Risks

Innovators are generally risk-takers. They take risks in their businesses and other aspects of their life. They thrive on curiosity to the point of encouraging it in others. They are open to others’ new and interesting ideas and will listen to and promote original thinking. If a new idea fails, they see it as a learning opportunity and don’t punish themselves or others for it.

They Build on What They Know

Sometimes innovation comes from what is already there. Bronxville’s David Walsh knew this when he built on his knowledge of automated trading to make the first web hosting company. You need to take what you’ve learned throughout your life and build on it. Use it to build something new. Just because you are building off previous knowledge doesn’t mean that the idea isn’t innovative.

They Are Teachers

They often build entire teams of novel thinkers. These teams are made up of all types of people who have one thing in common, the desire to learn and grow. They think in terms of the future. Innovators know that an idea can not end with them. That idea progresses through others as more people learn and improve it.

They Give Incentives

They create programs that involve different incentives for new ideas or improvements on old ones. They reward their team for forward-thinking. Many companies still punish novel ideas, believing that the status quo is the best way to do things, even if the status quo is from 50 years ago. Companies run by true innovators give people who have new ideas, freedom and incentives.

They Collaborate With Others

Innovators know that they can not do things alone. They sometimes collaborate across industries to get the expertise they need to make a new invention or product work. They are not afraid to reach out, no matter how crazy combining the technologies sounds. 

They Don’t Worry About Ownership

They don’t care who claims credit for the idea. It is the novel idea that excites them. They give credit more than they take it. They do not concern themselves with who gets what. They reward the team that they work with, so no one person takes credit.

Ownership slows innovation. When people argue about who owns an idea, that idea stops evolving. Innovators know this and encourage team participation and credit.

They Don’t Take No for an Answer

One thing that innovators don’t do is take no for an answer. When they present a new idea or product, they find ways to get their project funded and off the ground. They work hard to make sure that every aspect of innovation is accounted for. From concept through marketing, they follow through with the idea no matter what anyone else says.

Anyone can be an innovator. All you need is courage and an idea. You do have to put in the time and effort it takes to be a true innovator.

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