More on the study: The authors focused on four types of innovators: (1) start-up entrepreneurs; (2) corporate entrepreneurs (those who launch an innovative venture from within a corporation); (3) product innovators (those who invent a new product); and, (4) process innovators (those who launch a breakthrough process). The authors also developed an ‘innovation premium’: “The proportion of a company’s market value that cannot be accounted for from cash flow of its current products or businesses in its current markets.” The most innovative companies [based on the authors’ list]—ranked by innovation premium—averaged at least a 35 percent innovation premium over the past five years. Such companies were more likely to be led by an innovative founder or a leader who scored extremely high on the five discovery skills—questioning, associating, observing, networking, and experimenting. They scored higher than 88 percent of people taking the “discovery skills” assessment. Indeed, innovation starts with the leader. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, for example, is an excellent experimenter and has driven experimentation down into the core of Amazon.
4. Creativity and Genetics: Anyone can develop creativity. It’s not something you’re born with. Experimentation with twins found that only about 30 percent of their creativity could be attributed to genetics; however, about 80 to 85 percent of the twins’ performance on general intelligence (IQ) tests could be attributed to genetics. Most creative types learned creativity from people who made it “safe” to experiment.