According to Mauro Porcini, chief design officer at PepsiCo, finding “unicorns”—individuals with the ideal combination of qualities that make them “ideal innovators”—is important.
Their qualities include a blend of innate talent and consistent practice, but perhaps most importantly, they must be “people in love with people.” Their overarching goal is to produce products that other people will unquestionably find worthwhile. Porcini urges them to approach innovation and business in a “human-centered” manner, which is the main idea of his most recent book, The Human Side of Innovation: The Power of People in Love with People. Any industry in which people engage in commerce, collaboration, and production with and for others has unicorns. They want to make significant improvements rather than merely little adjustments that result in marginal improvement. They are the best team players because they are aware that they frequently cannot accomplish things alone. In his book, Porcini lists the characteristics of unicorns and divides them into three groups: enabling gifts, social gifts, and entrepreneurial gifts. Unicorns can be found within your own organization; there’s no need to search too far beyond it. You can encourage and nurture these qualities in your staff.