I had the great good fortune to be invited to a Thomson Reuters event during Legal Tech featuring a discussion by Walter Isaacson, author of biographies on Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger. His topic was innovation in business and he was fabulous.
As Walter pointed out, what distinguishes the truly brilliant is their attention to detail, incredible focus and their relentlessness in pursuing understanding or a solution. These traits may not be accompanied by gracious social skills, however the truly brilliant often have the ability to inspire others to greatness or influence others with their passion. For these people, a “good enough” solution isn’t good enough because they consider their work to be a masterpiece.
Importantly, Walter observed that the needs of a profit-driven enterprise limit creativity. At some point the focus on innovation must cease in order for products to go to market or updates to be released. A business must thrive in order for a creative environment to exist. Finding balance is the trick.
I found the discussion to be very inspirational. Like me, I’m sure the other attendees walked away re-energized, recommitted to passionately seeking better solutions and appreciative of work environments that encourage innovation.