Episode #118 Jeff Dyer: The Innovator's DNA


33voices interviews Jeff Dyer


Jeff Dyer

Horace Beesley Professor of Strategy View Full Profile

The Innovator's DNA

One of my favorite quotes has always been RFK's "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?'  I dream things that never were and ask, "Why not?"  That quote gave me permission to challenge 'what is' and led me to the discovery of seeking mentors outside my industry.  I understood early on that if I was going to distinguish myself, I needed role models who were going against gravity and truly making 'a dent in the universe'.  

Nothing inspires me more than coming up with innovative ideas; so when I read "The Innovator's DNA:  Mastering The Five skills of Disruptive Innovators", by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and the great Clay Christensen, I got the formula that will allow me to access creativity on-demand.  Insight from their research shows that "one's ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors."  That's great news for most of us who are driven by creativity.  

Innovative individuals live curious lives.  They systematically engage in "questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting behaviors to spark new ideas."  In addition, they count on the cognitive skill of "associating" to connect fields, problems, or ideas that others find unrelated... .