Essays On Innovation Leadership And Growth

Essays On Innovation Leadership And Growth-43
The project was conducted in three stages: We developed questions and conducted extensive interviews with 60 established innovators.

The project was conducted in three stages: We developed questions and conducted extensive interviews with 60 established innovators.

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The report contains much more: more insights, more stories and a slew of recommendations. We need to conduct more definitive research and take some major steps to incorporate the education of innovation into our existing curriculums. Daniel Mote Jr., current president of the National Academy of Engineering, put our work into perspective.

“Even if it mostly confirmed our intuitive understanding of innovation, it’s opened the doors to more definitive research, and that can only help our country,” he said.

We carefully analyzed the data from the interviews and the workshop and the National Academies Press published it earlier this year (which is available as a free, downloadable PDF).

Broadly speaking, our research reaffirmed my intuition: innovation cannot be taught like math or writing, or even in the current framework of entrepreneurship education.

Some of them are well known -- for example, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Stanford University President John Hennessy and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

But most are recognized as innovators within narrower circles, such as Regina Dugan, senior vice president of engineering at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and the former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a federal agency known for innovation.I quickly discovered that the literature on innovation was sparse.Moreover, it was missing a crucial component: reflections from innovators themselves.But we also found that they are generally risk takers who don’t fear failure (although many emphasized that they don’t like failure).They also are good at selling ideas -- a crucial skill for raising funds and building a team. Again, some findings were unsurprising: innovators have strong mentors and role models as students and young employees, and they generally had a lot of unstructured time while growing up.Both require seeing something that’s not there: ideas and solutions to improve life, new markets and so on.But whereas innovators focus on creation of value, entrepreneurs focus on realization of that value.The path of the entrepreneur is more or less the traditional path of business development: conducting market research, raising capital, developing long-term marketing and business plans, and so on.And college and university courses on entrepreneurship mirror that -- covering subjects such as marketing, finance and the like.Those in education -- especially at the university level -- described the importance of labs, buildings and centers structured around themes, rather than skills.What was surprising, and reassuring, was how intensely innovators perceived the value of environments -- familial to community to academic -- that place a strong emphasis on education.

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