A genius. The eureka moment. Mention innovation and that's the model that probably comes to mind. The lore is exceptional intellect driving a flash of insight that's equal parts sudden, unpredictable and unexplainable. For those who yearn for innovation to solve the world's most vexing problems, such an opaque path is both unmanageable and unreproducible.
Fortunately, observations of real-world innovation show that the genius-as-great-innovator paradigm is wrong. Holding on to it is an anchor that sinks attempts to uncover new value.