Characteristics

Self Motivated - A volunteer
Engaged in a chosen activity - Doing things
Willing to take a vague idea, or some hint of misunderstanding and work on it until it's understood.
Ideally also engaged with a diverse group of people in a self organising community of practice.

There is no substitute for having your own experience, maintaining your own records, and building your own personal knowledge in the area of your interest. When the right question is asked, having your own data is the difference between what you bring to the table, and everyone else. There are no text books and no Google search and no consultants who can give you the certainty and the insight that comes from having your own personal knowledge. Maintain files, keep a journal, involve yourself in group discussions, network with other people who share your interest.

Creative people want to be part of a great creative team and culture.

Creative people need compelling problems that they can feel passionate about.

They also need validation from their peers, and to be attached to a group with whom they share expertise, often a group with a global span of members.

Creative people often take up a strong personal position on a particular problem of interest and become identified by their peers as an advocate for that point of view.

Without an imagination powerful enough to make the unseen and the unbuilt real for yourself, you can't develop the energy to sustain the innovative effort over time. Imagination allows you to resolve potential conflicts and to plan a great deal of detail. However, there is danger. Imagination can allow you to bridge over a hole in the idea and hide it from your view. You need to understand when issues have been resolved and when the question needs to remain open.

Creative people want to be identified with doing worthwhile things, with "good works" in a social and environmental sense as well as in a business sense. Every new idea has a deep social source and well as a personal source. None of us innovate alone.

Many innovators of the heroic type worry that someone will steal their new idea. Of course that's possible but unlikely. All a thief can do is add what he/she imagines to be your idea, and try to run with that. He/she can't gain access to your imagination, can't steal the power of your idea, can't steal the thought engine that produced the idea in the first place, nor the experiences that brought you to that inspiration.