Innovation is fundamental to grow and sustain an organization. Yet when it comes to innovation, leaders often make the mistake of involving the wrong team members in the process, which ultimately stalls or kills the initiative.
What if I told you there are just six high-performing innovation personalities that are all necessary to get the innovation job done? While every person on your team is capable of contributing to innovation, they all contribute differently. Personality matters when it comes to innovation projects. And it is not possible to develop and scale an innovation without each of these personalities.
It is important for leaders to understand both their own innovation dispositions and those of their teams, not only to realize where they best fit in the innovation continuum, but also to discover how to strengthen their natural innovation abilities.
Knowing your innovation personality will empower you to recognize both how and when to become an active participant in innovation. It will help free you from participating in the mundane tasks where you neither have interest nor excel. And it will give you confidence to approach problems and opportunities based on your natural talents, skills and passions.
Every innovation moves through six stages: Identify, Define, Develop, Verify, Deploy, and Scale. Each stage involves very specific objectives and tasks, and has particular methodologies for execution. There must be a leader to champion each stage. This is a person who has the necessary abilities to make sure that the deliverables for that stage are completed efficiently and effectively.
For instance, the main objective in Stage 1 (Identify) is to ascertain problems and opportunities through research and to generate ideas. Only certain members of your team will enjoy and naturally fit into doing this type of work. This process is nebulous and involves a slew of creative exercises. To some people, this work feels difficult, tedious or even purposeless. But to others, this stage is energizing and brings out the best in them. You definitely want the latter group to be leading and participating in the Identify Stage, regardless of their position in the company.
Support staff are often overlooked in the innovation process, but everybody in your company—from the admin to the CEO—is capable of contributing to innovation.
It is the leader’s job to understand the six stages, and most importantly understand their own people and organize them in such a way that they are able to contribute effectively to the innovation continuum.
Here are the six essential innovation personalities. Read on to consider where you best fit, and then take the Innovation FitnessTM Assessment at www.theinnovatorsadvantage.com to see if you were right.
You excel at futuristic thinking, continuous learning, and creativity. You are driven by new ideas and opportunities, and like to be intentional in your work. You are competitive, have a high level of optimism, and are comparable with frequent change. You are a persuader who works to achieve rest through others.
You excel at planning and organizing, goal achievement, and project management. You are driven by collaboration, and like to be intentional in completing tasks. You enjoy following precedent, insist on follow-through, and excel at consistency. You are a coordinator, who seamlessly works on the details of a project with others.
You excel at futuristic thinking, creativity, and resiliency. You are a self-starter, who is driven by intention, objectivity, and personal recognition. You are assertive, can make on-the-spot decisions, and are comfortable with frequent change. You are a conductor, someone focused on driving big-picture results.
You excel at planning and organizing, customer focus, and interpersonal skills. You are great at time and priority management, and you work collaboratively and intentionally. You are driven by functionality and completing tasks for the greater good. You enjoy data analysis, consistency, and frequent interactions with others. You are an analyzer, who digs deep into the detail stop ensure accuracy and success.
You excel at planning and organizing, goal achievement, and project management. You are a conceptual thinker who is driven by functionality and intentionality, all while being receptive to new ideas and methods. You enjoy frequent interactions with others, are competitive, and have the ability to make quick decisions. You are an Implementer, balancing the goals and detail to complete projects on time, on budget, and with high quality.
You excel at negotiation, influencing others, and futuristic thinking. You are a self-starter who is receptive to new ideas, driven by practical results, and enjoys recognition. You are bold and assert with a high level of optimism; you enjoy frequent change, and possess good judgment in critical situations. You are a promoter, who inspires others through enthusiasm and influence.
Assessing the innovation types of everyone on your team will allow you to better organize your people. It will help you to look for employees with complimentary skills, and learn how to identify who you must include in each stage to bring innovation to scale. So next time you are working on a new project or looking for innovation, keep in mind that personality matters, and take the steps to assemble the right team for better, faster, and sustainable results.