Innovators are opportunity-oriented.
What's the hidden opportunity in that problem? Where is the opportunity in that trend? How can this be made to work better? Innovators search for the unsolved problems, the markets inefficiencies, and the unmet needs and wants of existing customer groups. They also search for unmet needs and wants and build new customer groups.
Innovators are strategists.
They attempt to anticipate the future to maximize their ability to thrive and prosper in that future. They continually define and redefine their goals, and have well developed but flexible plans to reach them.
Innovators "unhook" their prejudices.
In their approach to problem solving and opportunity creation, they constantly attempt to rid their thinking of preconceived beliefs, biases, thinking ruts, and unchallenged assumptions.
Innovators are trend-spotters.
Innovators monitor change (social, attitudinal, technological, and so on) so as to spot new opportunities before everyone else. But what passes for "vision" is really just a unique way of deciphering where things are headed. Innovators do this by concerning themselves with the "big picture". They utilize every available moment to keep abreast of these trends.
Innovators are idea-oriented.
Innovators gain an edge through the way they work with ideas. They are constantly generating ideas, always on the lookout for concepts they can borrow and apply from other fields, constantly developing and experimenting new ideas.
Innovators rely upon intuition.
In a world that is growing ever more complex and fast-paced, innovators use their intuition as a kind of sixth sense. It helps them assess risks, read people, recognize emerging patterns of change, and make complex decisions.
Innovators are extraordinarily persistent.
They are willing to "face the heat" in pursuit of their dreams. Their passion for ideas helps them overcome what might otherwise be roadblocks, and they are long-term thinkers.
Innovators are resourceful.
They see no walls to implementing ideas because of their skill and persistence at gathering Strategic Information (specialized, state-of-the-art knowledge and insight). They understand the role of information in the Innovation Age.
Innovators are feedback-oriented.
They constantly poll their customer group to determine how their product or service can be improved. Feedback acts as their "checks and balances" mechanism. It guides their decisions and helps them avoid prejudices and blind spots.
Innovators are superior team builders.
They realize they cannot succeed alone. They either need teams to help them implement their ideas, or, if they work alone, support networks or fellow professionals, mentors, friends, and advisors.
Neil Greenberg is a sales manager with a DC based e-commerce company. He also keeps his blog, Sales Sherpa (http://salessherpa.blogspot.com/) fresh with articles on sales, goal setting, motivation and more.