On the people front, the behavior of leaders matters—big time. In our initial study on disruptive innovators published with Clayton Christensen in The Innovator’s DNA, we found five “discovery skills” that distinguished innovators from non-innovators. Innovators ask provocative questions that challenge the status quo. They observe the world like anthropologists to detect new ways of doing things. They network with people who don’t look or think like them to gain radically different perspectives. They experiment relentlessly to test new ideas and try out new experiences. Finally, these behaviors trigger new associations which let them to connect the unconnected, thereby producing disruptive ideas.Helping people form new associations has been my bread and butter since I first started working in this sector 5 years ago; it can be yours too.
It's a little tricky, but I'd just like to go on record as saying being an office nomad often pays dividends.