Suppose you’re a corporate innovation manager who arranged to get all of your fellow executives and coworkers from the major business units of your company profiled in TIPS, Thinkergy’s cognitive profiling test for business and innovation. Today, let me suggest eight actions that you can take as an innovation manager after your company has been TIPS-ed.
1. Start with yourself and review your own TIPS result and profiling report
As an innovation manager, first, deepen your self-awareness before beginning to gain greater innovation awareness. Study your personal TIPS profile and test results and take the actions suggested in a related earlier article (titled So you’ve been TIPS-ed, now what? (Part 1 | Part 2).
2. Familiarize yourself with matching innovation contributions of the different profiles
An earlier article in this blog titled How to make everyone contribute to innovation discusses how each TIPS profile can add value to corporate innovation initiatives. Read this article to gain a general overview before deep-diving into the TIPS results of your company.
3. Overview the results of your innovators in a matrix
If you’ve profiled a larger number of employees in TIPS, Thinkergy or your TIPS coach can send you a TIPS Profiling Results Spreadsheet featuring the test results and related personal data of all your profiled colleagues:
- The spreadsheet contains each person’s TIPS innovator profile, test scores, and cognitive styles, among others.
- Consider adding other relevant information to each profiled colleague to make it easier to subsequently compose diverse innovation teams (such as perhaps business unit or business function, age or social generation, gender, or educational background).
- Use the sort functions to quickly regroup the results based on certain desired parameters.
4. Identify your internal innovation champions
Certain TIPS profiles tend to thrive in —and often love to drive— (digital) innovation projects. (Please see also a related article titled How to find the people to drive digital innovation). How can you find those creative and digital types? Go through the results list and check for Ideators, Conceptualizers, Promoters, and Imaginative Experimenters with high scores for the Ideas base.
In line with Everett Roger’s innovation diffusion theory, these profiles also tend to constitute those innovators and early adopters who create, test, endorse, and promote innovations. I detail this out in a related article titled Who really makes innovation happen?
5. Use TIPS to optimize the people-side of innovation projects
As an innovation manager, you will regularly organize innovation projects that target specific challenges. Moreover, business unit managers may approach you occasionally to ask for your support for a particular innovation project. Whatever the case may be, TIPS can help you in better planning successful innovation projects in three ways:
- Each innovation project typically targets one particular innovation type (such as product or service innovation, or customer experience design). Interestingly, different TIPS profiles tend to enjoy and do well in certain innovation types. Please check out the article titled What innovation projects fit your cognitive style for more information.
- TIPS also allows you to optimize the people utilization in an innovation project. You can do this by inviting people only to those process stages that they tend to enjoy based on their TIPS profile. I discuss the details in an earlier article titled Who shines when in the creative process?
- TIPS also spells out what is the preferred style to innovate of each profile. As an innovation facilitator, check what TIPS profiles you have in an innovation team before you guide it through the stages of a structured thinking process.(such as our award-winning innovation method X-IDEA). When applying specific thinking tools, adjust your facilitation style to fit the preferred styles of innovating of the team members. I explain these differences in an earlier article titled What’s your and everyone else’s style to innovate?
6. Identify opportunities for work realignments in the innovation management function
Depending on your TIPS profile and your specific job responsibilities, you may or may not be highly satisfied with your role as an innovation manager. It is quite likely that you love certain aspects of your position, but regard taking care of other tasks as a drudgery. This ambivalence is because most innovation managers either enjoy administering organizational innovation from behind or leading innovation initiatives at the front, but not having to do both.
For this reason, I made a case to separate the function into two roles in an earlier article titled Creative leaders and innovation managers: same same but different. Read this article and decide if my arguments make sense to you. If yes, consider bringing in another person who complements your preferred work focus. Then, drive and lead innovation at the front, while leaving all the administrative tasks to your colleague — or vice versa, depending on your TIPS profile.
7. Clarify who is going to respond how to creative change
TIPS can give you hints on who is going to respond how to major creative change initiatives that your organization may introduce to make your corporate culture more innovation-friendly. Thereby, we distinguish all profiled people into three groups based on their TIPS profiles and highest score:
- Psycho-dynamic profiles (such as the Conceptualizer, Ideator, Imaginative Experimenter, and Promoter) tend to be change drivers or change agents.
- Psycho-neutral profiles (like the Theorist, Coach, All-Rounder, and Partner) tend to skeptics whom you need to convince that the change is sensible and worth the extra efforts.
- Psycho-static profiles tend to be laggards and preservers who are likely to resist change passively, or who may even actively try to sabotage it. They include the TIPS profiles of the Organizer, Systematizer, Systematic Experimenter, and Technocrat.
As such, TIPS can help you to identify possible change drivers and change agents in your organization. Moreover, TIPS can also point you to those psycho-static colleagues who are likely to oppose and resist the change initiative. This knowledge allows you to actively approach these colleagues early on to address their concerns and try to win them over.
8. Identify possible candidates for a creative leadership development program
You can regard all the psycho-dynamic colleagues that we’ve identified in steps 4 and 7 as a potential talent pool to be developed into creative leaders by your organization. A sophisticated creative leadership development program such as Genius Journey by Thinkergy can teach these creative talents the advanced creative mindsets and action routines of outstanding creative leaders in business, science, sports, and the arts. (Depending on your TIPS profiles, you as innovation manager and other psycho-dynamic top executives may want to join such a program, too).
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© Dr. Detlef Reis 2019