Innovators are the R&D center of each social context.
Innovativeness should never be regarded as a stand-alone concept, because it is essentially linked with other forces of the SAM (Social Adoption Mechanism). If innovators are the R&D center, then opinion leaders are the marketing department of the social context, adapting the R&D’s innovations to fit the social context’s needs. And both ‘departments’ are necessary for a social context to adapt innovations efficiently.
If your aim is to analyse the innovator’s behavior, or to co-create with them, try to consider the other cogs of his social context as well. Focussing too much on an isolated group of innovators might result in a lot of great ideas that miss relevance to the social context. The interactions between innovators, opinion leaders and other members of the social context, is what really should be the object of observation or collaboration.