Mastering the Sixth Wave: Managing Creative Talents with TIPS (Part 1)

Mastering the Sixth Wave: Managing Creative Talents with TIPS (Part 1)

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Published On:
May 31, 2024

Managing creative talents effectively can make or break your company's future in a world of rapid technological and generational shifts. Are you ready to navigate the people side of the Sixth Wave of Technology Innovation?

In the Future of Jobs Report 2023, the World Economic Forum reported that employers estimated that by 2028, new technologies (driven by the onset of Artificial Intelligence (AI)) would lead to 23% structural labor market churn and disrupt 44% of workers’ skills. The technological push on the labor market is amplified by another significant change: a generational shift, with the last baby boomers retiring by the end of the decade and a new cohort (Gen Z) joining the workforce. Clearly, against these technological and social changes, companies need to urgently upgrade their talent management practices to make them 21st-century compatible. 

How can a company master its Sixth Wave talent challenges? To answer this question, let’s revisit a powerful metaphor introduced by a business book classic 25 years ago and link it to a 21st-century method to profile talents and innovators to perform in the innovation economy. 

Background: Jim Collins's bus metaphor

In his classic leadership book Good to Great. Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins likens the challenges of managing the people side of business to going on a trip with a bus. He explains:

"If you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away. The right people don't need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great." —Jim Collins

Having the right people on the bus is crucial in times of exponential change, requiring teams, business units, and companies to creatively transform and rise to the occasion, even if the journey's destination initially needs to be clarified. As Collins put it: ”If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”

But how can you tell if you have brought the right people on the bus? Given that the itinerary is in flux and more dynamic than in the past, how can you find out what new people you should invite to join your bus tour? Enter TIPS by Thinkergy.

Introducing TIPS, Thinkergy’s talent and innovator profiling system  

TIPS is a 21st-century talent and innovator profiling method to profile personality and cognitive style. TIPS uses four socio-economic base orientations (theories, ideas, people, systems) and four cognitive styles (thinking, working, interacting, and living) to profile people into one of eleven talent and innovator profiles (Theorist, Ideator, Partner, Systematizer, Conceptualizer, Promoter, Organizer, Technocrat, Coach, Experimenter, and All-Rounder). Each profile type has a unique superpower and performs outstandingly in specific roles and ecosystems. 

I created TIPS intending to help creative leaders, their teams, and their companies master the people side of innovation, and TIPS does a phenomenal job here. Interestingly, after TIPS was out there, I found out that TIPS also has more than a dozen concrete applications in business in general and talent management in particular.  

How can a company master its Sixth Wave talent challenges with TIPS

In the following, I will share with you seven suggestions on how TIPS can help you up your talent management approaches to rise to the challenges of the Sixth Wave. Thereby, I will link TIPS to Collins’s bus metaphor and suggest seven action steps to get your talents ready for your Sixth Wave transformation journey. We will discuss each of these action steps below. 

1. Talent awareness: Find out who you have already invited to be “on the bus.” 

First, uncover what talent profiles you have already brought “on the bus”- that is, your company, business unit, or team. Have everyone in your team (including yourself) take the TIPS online test to reveal which of the 11 talent and innovator profiles each person identifies with. You can get an overview of the TIPS results and profiles of all team members on the bus in a TIPS Results Spreadsheet we share with you.

2. Talent alignment: Ensure every talent on the bus sits in the right seat … 

Then, link each team member's TIPS profile to their role and responsibilities to check if this combination is a cognitive fit. For example, a Promoter working as a social media marketing manager is a tremendous cognitive fit, while a Conceptualizer working as an Operations Manager is an apparent cognitive mismatch. We spot these mismatches by creating TIPS Team Profiling Maps and flagging them up. Then, the manager and the “right team member” sitting in the wrong seat can jointly explore the right seat for this talent.

For example, in one TIPS profiling exercise, we did some time ago, we noticed that a junior trainee came out as an Imaginative Promoter in TIPS, which led management to offer him a new role as a social media marketing manager. We also noticed an apparent cognitive mismatch (a creative, social Partner working as the firm’s Accounting Manager). After a conversation with her, she admitted that she didn’t enjoy her quantitative role and only studied accounting because of her parents. Management decided to hire a Technocrat to take over her accounting position and offer her a new role in sales, which she gladly accepted. Subsequently, she became one of the firm’s top salespeople.

3. Talent Management: …  and does the right things.

“The good-to-great companies understood one simple truth: The right people will do the right things and deliver the best results they are capable of,” noted Jim Collins. Once you put the right people into the right seats, they can easily and effortlessly produce great results—provided their team manager ensures they do the right things (i.e., work on tasks or projects fitting their TIPS talent type).

For example, in a scale-up venture, use a Conceptualizer to work on a complex digitalization project while having an Organizer to ensure that your back office organization can keep up with explosive growth without compromising on delivery quality. 

In TIPS, we also coach managers on how to better manage their team's talents by catering to each talent type's preferred cognitive styles. For example, micro-managing a big-picture Conceptualizer would be a surefire way to agitate them. 

Interim Conclusion

In this first part, we explored how Jim Collins's bus metaphor can be applied to managing creative talents in a rapidly changing world. We introduced the TIPS profiling method and discussed the importance of identifying and aligning talents within your organization. In the next part, we will dive deeper into talent development, planning, acquisition, and transition to ensure your team is ready to navigate the challenges of the Sixth Wave of Innovation.

  • Are you ready to discover how TIPS can transform your talent management? Visit our website to learn more about TIPS, watch our informative video, or download our comprehensive TIPS booklet
  • Are you curious about your own TIPS profile? Click here to find out more about your talent and innovator type for just USD 89.
  • Contact us if you’re a creative leader committed to preparing your team and business to surf the Sixth Wave competently. In a joint call, let's explore how we can help you achieve your creative transformation agenda faster.

© Dr. Detlef Reis 2024. This article is earmarked to be co-published in the Bangkok Post in the coming weeks.