10 Styles of Innovation

In a recent issue of PM Network, Peter Fretty covered the topic of innovation in corporations. His perspective is that innovation doesn't always arrive with a bang, but that is can also be an incremental process that takes years. Along with his review of these two types of innovation he also provided some guidance on fostering innovation. But what I found most interesting about his article was the innovation styles he referenced.

Overly concerning oneself with labels doesn't accomplish much, but at the same time I think labels can help you understand behaviors that you can make the best of them when you see them in your project team. And with that, I present the 10 styles of innovation.

The Anthropologist
This type of innovator ventures into the field with the intent of observing how they interact with products, services, and experiences. This information provides guidance for innovating.

The Experimenter
Despite the name, this style is all about calculated-risks and involves a lot of test and retesting of potential scenarios to turn ideas in to tangible products and services.

The Cross-Pollinator
This style reminds of the Dell. Dell doesn't create anything new, but they are excellent at taking existing products and adding a layer of value to the equation resulting in the breaking of new ground. This pretty much describes the style of a cross-pollinator.

The Hurdler
A tireless problem-solver who derives motivation out of tackling something that's never been done before without regard to the threat of failure from experts.

The Collaborator
This style values the team over the individual person and prefers to coax people out of their bubbles to form multidisciplinary teams.

The Director
Innovators that possess an acute understanding of the big picture often find themselves motivating their team members to step forward and take a leading role in the creation of something new.

The Experience Architect
What drives this type of person is the need to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary that clearly stands out from the crowd. Not a particularly easy task as you can imagine.

The Set Designer
A real team plater, the set designer builds work environments that celebrate the individual. The upside of these efforts is the stimulation of creativity from the resulting energetic and inspired culture.

The Storyteller
As the name suggests, this style aims to capture the imagination with an irresistible narrative of initiative, hard work, and innovation.

The Caregiver
Like a medical professional, this style aims to understand each individual customer and create a relationship to inspire innovation.

I think of these styles I'm closer to a cross-pollinator than anything else. And if I could, I'd like to be a better at being a storyteller. How about you?

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