Innovators: Creative Difference Makers

Every group has a leader, but equally important to a workplace team is the Creative. When a leader asks for input, the first difference maker to respond is the Innovator, the creative personality eager to work on a given problem and find the best possible course of action. The Creative is bright-eyed, brain on full throttle, mulling over the problem at hand before he or she has even gotten seated at the table.

Creative personalities spur the team, riling each member with enthusiasm. A Leader will define the mission, outline the problem to be solved, and then let the Creative type take over to help his or her team do the heavy lifting. Collaboration works best with a creative personality at the helm. That’s where the Innovator thrives.  

Here are some ways to recognize them.

1. See Outside the Power Point.

Sparks fly when an innovative difference maker is in the lead. Why do a slideshow when a Prezi will work better? Why sketch a plan when technology allows for 3-D graphics? A Creative will do anything to demonstrate solutions to a problem in an impactful way.

2. Invigorate the Brainstorm Effort 

Innovative difference makers love a team meeting. They love Sharpies and whiteboards. Paper will work in a pinch, but they prefer tech. Nothing isn’t worth investigating. New avenues are sought out. The unknown is nothing to fear. Fantastic ideas lie in wait at every turn. That spirit, and the brainstorm effect that comes with it is contagious.

3. Listen with an Open Mind.

No dumb ideas exist. Every idea is full of possibility. The Innovator will sit with the team -- but probably can’t stay still for long. They’re excited and looking for unique ideas. Throw all your ideas into the ring. Let the group tweak them, enhance them, and help shape them. Enjoy the camaraderie.

Creatives often create environments that make problem solving fun and challenging. Creative types are hard to resist. Sure, other team members will need to evaluate the Creative’s efforts. That’s what teams are for, to keep things in check, running smoothly, and elevating each other’s efforts to emerge with a workable solution toward effective forward movement. 

While the Innovator may need some reining in, his or her eagerness goes a long way to jump-start effective problem solving. Consider this old but effective argument for the creative personality in an organization. 

Leaders. Creatives. Two types of difference makers who energize the workplace, enliven it, and move others forward.

Next time, Type 3: The Motivator