What Does an Innovator Look Like?

what does an innovator look likeWe’ve dedicated lots of time to thinking about innovators. What their skill sets are, what traits they possess, and what the profile of innovators is globally. But we recently took a look at our own data and developed two profiles of our own:

The profile for the crowd innovation administrator:

Most of IdeaScale’s administrators were in their mid-thirties and at the managerial level. They were passionate about new ideas (and new technologies) and they wanted to empower their co-workers. They are usually great communicators who are comfortable using a range of software solutions and getting them to talk to each other. And their key frustrations are senior leadership resistent to change and a lack of budget. They are well-eucated, self-reliant, and they spend a lot of time on the internet.

And then the profile for the embedded innovation group within an organization:

A majority of IdeaScale customers have some level of program maturity (between 1-3 years old). Most IdeaScale customers are using their innovation program to collaborate with their employees. They have a team dedicated to implementation and they use incentives to increase engagement. We also found out that their passionate about SSO, Ideation, Moderation, and IdeaScale’s excellent security features.

But perhaps most interesting was the evolution from low-skilled innovation to more sophisticated innovation programs.

Bain & Company developed a system for assessing an organization’s innovation readiness.

The ranking separated organizations into three tiers:

  • Tier 1: In Tier One, an organization has prioritized a culture of innovation and is looking to engaging multiple stakeholders in the conversation around innovation and ideation.
  • Tier 2: In Tier Two, an organization has developed a process for selecting and implementing ideas and is looking to do so continuously.
  • Tier 3: In Tier Three, an organization has dedicated resources to the implementation of ideas and has defined metrics for the success of the ideas and the program.

Based on this criteria, IdeaScale found that only 18% of companies are operating at this top tier, but that companies are slowly improving their innovation skill sets and becoming more sophisticated over time.

If you want to learn more from IdeaScale’s customer data, download the 2017 Crowdsourced Innovation Report.

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