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The Five Personalities of Innovators: Which One Are You? March 23, 2012

Posted by Marta Karolak in Uncategorized.
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Two days ago Forbes ran an article with the above title.  The piece touched upon many of the topics that we discussed with Carl Bass during our visit to Autodesk earlier this week. Here are a couple of ideas and quotes I wanted to highlight:

A company needs a balance of innovators and “non-innovators” to thrive 

The Forbes study (upon which the article is based)…..”isolates and identifies five major personalities crucial to fostering a healthy atmosphere of innovation within an organization. Some are more entrepreneurial, and some more process-oriented – but all play a critical role in the process. To wit: thinkers need doers to get things done, and idealists need number crunchers to tether them to reality.Though it may seem stymieing at times, in any healthy working environment, a tension between the risk-takers and the risk-averse must exist; otherwise, an organization tilts too far to one extreme or the other and either careens all over the place or moves nowhere at all. An effective and productive culture of innovation is like a good minestrone soup: it needs to have the right mix and balance of all the ingredients, otherwise it’s completely unsuccessful, unbalanced — and downright mushy.”

Corporate culture definitely impacts innovation

…..”the corporate environment – is a stealth factor that can make or break the potential of even the most innovative individual. Look at it this way: a blue whale is the largest animal known ever to have existed, but if you tried to put it in a freshwater lake, it wouldn’t survive. Well, that and it would displace a lot of water. My point? Even the largest and mightiest of creatures can’t thrive in an environment that doesn’t nurture them.”

Here’s the link to the full article (so that you can check out which one of the five personality types you are!): http://www.forbes.com/sites/brennasniderman/2012/03/21/the-five-personalities-of-innovators-which-one-are-you/

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Comments»

1. Scott Sheppard - March 26, 2012

Thanks for your insights and bringing this to my attention.

2. matthewsander - March 27, 2012

Interesting article!

On one hand, I think it’s tempting to group people into these different categories, but I’m also wondering to what extent individuals can occupy multiple roles. Can you be both a risk taker and be risk averse?

I think the best innovators can also occupy the skeptic’s space, and that’s something to aspire to. Take risks, and then step back and consider all the fatal flaws. Then iterate.

Thanks for sharing!

-Matt

3. doviknissim - March 31, 2012

Martha, Thanks for raising this .. .

It touches something that I wanted to elaborate on … and I kind of alluded to that in my question to Mr. Carl Bass…

In his TEDx Speech (Which I loved by the way …. I always admire a passionate man…speaking about what he loves), Mr. Carl Bass mentioned that “one thing companies can do best … is hire the right people” … he continued to give a “Lakers example” stating that “the Los Angeles Lakers are not great shooters – Kobe Bryant is” … and if your team wasn’t shooting well enough… would you hire a shooting coach? or would you hire more players like Kobe?”

Right? ….well that’s where I respectfully disagree..

It’s not just about hiring the right people…
in fact I would even say that too many “stars” are a recipe for failure…If you don’t believe me, ask the owners of Manchester City Football Club, One of the finest English Premiere League football clubs … they brought all the stars they could get their hands on, paying a ton of money every year…. so how come each year they cannot win the championship…? should they bring more star-like players…. no

a hint ….it has to do with the “other thing” that companies must be best at doing… building the right culture, crafting the secret sauce, creating the right atmosphere, giving the right tools .. glueing it all together…

Honestly.. Corporate culture doesn’t just impact innovation… it is a key ingredient in it…. it is a necessary condition ,,, not a sufficient one..

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Mr. Carl Bass. His TEDx speech emphasized many points that resonated with me .. and one in particular in his words..”what’s important is that it’s individuals who break the rules who make those new innovations and the ones who are really successful at breaking the rules… in effect what they are doing is making the new rules”…

But on this matter… I think Mr. Bass and I will agree to disagree…

4. doviknissim - April 1, 2012

Martha, Thanks for raising this .. .

It touches something that I wanted to elaborate on … and I kind of alluded to that in my question to Mr. Carl Bass…

In his TEDx Speech (Which I loved by the way …. I always admire a passionate man…speaking about what he loves), Mr. Carl Bass mentioned that “one thing companies can do best … is hire the right people” … he continued to give a “Lakers example” stating that “the Los Angeles Lakers are not great shooters – Kobe Bryant is” … and if your team wasn’t shooting well enough… would you hire a shooting coach? or would you hire more players like Kobe?”

Right? ….well that’s where I respectfully disagree..

It’s not just about hiring the right people…
in fact I would even say that too many “stars” are a recipe for failure…If you don’t believe me, ask the owners of Manchester City Football Club, One of the finest English Premiere League football clubs … they brought all the stars they could get their hands on, paying a ton of money every year…. so how come each year they cannot win the championship…? should they bring more star-like players…. no

a hint ….it has to do with the “other thing” that companies must be best at doing… building the right culture, crafting the secret sauce, creating the right atmosphere, giving the right tools .. glueing it all together…

Honestly.. Corporate culture doesn’t just impact innovation… it is a key ingredient in it…. it is a necessary condition ,,, not a sufficient one..

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Mr. Carl Bass. His TEDx speech emphasized many points that resonated with me .. and one in particular in his words..”what’s important is that it’s individuals who break the rules who make those new innovations and the ones who are really successful at breaking the rules… in effect what they are doing is making the new rules”…

But on this matter… I think Mr. Bass and I will agree to disagree…


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