Innovative Entrepreneurs

The ingredients of an entrepreneur include an appetite for risk and the ability to spot opportunities, and a minimum of red tape and other procedural hurdles (Can startups help turn the tide?, 2012). Hunter (2012) states that the propensity to take financial, family or career risks are often attributed to entrepreneurs. However, while entrepreneurs generally take risk involving business opportunities, innovators are risk takers that continually practice and challenge status quo. Innovators accomplish this by having the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields (Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, 2009). A company must have both entrepreneurs and innovators in order to remain relevant within their industry. While the entrepreneur may know what decisions need to be made, the innovator understands how to make them work for a purpose. Innovation is almost always a total company effort (Why true innovators must behave like entrepreneurs, 2012). A company that does not produce or motivate innovation, will eventually fail to companies that do.

Innovative entrepreneurs are more likely to challenge assumptions. Innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence, which enables discovery yet differs from other types of intelligence (Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, 2009). It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. Innovators engage both sides of the brain as they leverage the five discovery skills to create new ideas.

Entrepreneurship is about being able to discover a business opportunity and innovation is in building the opportunity. Working as a marketing consultant and developer, I have seen hundreds of business startups fail after taking a risk to begin entrepreneurship. They have failed because of their lack in innovation. It’s easy for these entrepreneurs to see the opportunity, but most don’t know how to build it. Hunter (2012) explains it best in that very little innovation is generated by start-up ventures.


Dyer, J. H., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2009). The innovator’s DNA. Harvard Business Review, 87(12), 1–9.

Why true innovators must behave like entrepreneurs [Editorial]. (2012). Marketing Week, 35(31), 10.

Hunter, M. (2012). On some of the misconceptions about entrepreneurship. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 7(2), 55–104.

Can startups help turn the tide? (2012). Harvard Business Review, 90(9), 30–31.

The Hill consulting group Group. (2006) Leadership Self Assessment Retrieved from pdf