Going deeper into this necessary dichotomy, (Kelly & Littman, 2005), mapped out ten personas that are needed at a minimum to successfully drive creative initiatives through an organization and creative teams without losing direction or momentum along the way.
At the start of the process, successful innovators rely on three basic learning personas to generate creative ideation and bring in original sources of knowledge: Anthropologists – These hands-on field observers keep careful notes of how people interact with products, services, and experiences. They excel at reframing problems, breaking down old assumptions and demonstrating how general principles translate into specific actions. Like Sherlock Holmes, their ability to pay attention to minute details can come across as exceptional, even supernatural, intuition. They often keep lists of problems in need of solving and find answers in extremely unusual locations.
Cross-Pollinators – The ultimate networkers, these creative individuals see previously invisible connections between disparate concepts and functions. They regularly demonstrate the old saying that breakthrough thinking only appears obvious in retrospect. Their interests are remarkably varied and their curiosity is boundless. They often make great teachers and coaches for their ability to bring energy into any discussion. They tend to be open-minded, great listeners and fond of metaphors.
Experimenters – Like the Anthropologists, these creatives are results-oriented. However, they are primarily concerned with the process of efficient ideation, not the tools and testing of tangible innovations. They push for calculated risks and strive to share the joy of discovery with their teams while making sure the entire process will maximize the time and money spent on it. People, team composition and leadership are all important components in the process of running the creative work. However, the management team needs an additional skill to guide and orchestrate the brainstorming process and ask the right questions, so that their people make actionable breakthroughs when brainstorming.
Generally speaking, people are not very efficient at running unstructured and abstract discussions without clear goals or slicing data in all kinds of ways. Instead, exploring unexpected success, looking at other trades with similar challenges and boundaries and examining binding constraints are more effective ways of orchestrating the creative processes (Coyne, Clifford, & Dye, 2007) Moreover, people need to be motivated and encouraged. Motivation may be both intrinsic and extrinsic. In this context, extrinsic motivation alone is not enough: if not complemented with intrinsic motivation, it can actually destroy creativity, as people can feel controlled or manipulated. Intrinsic motivation is the stronger of the two because it gives people’s work meaning. It can be fostered by assigning appropriate tasks to the most suitable people, giving them freedom, allocating sufficient resources and encouraging work. If you are interested, please have a look here and do our free assessment on your organizations culture and capabilities for innovation management.