Unleashing your inner superpower for business and innovation success

Unleashing your inner superpower for business and innovation success

Innovation Method
Published On:
January 26, 2024

Thanks to the exciting movies of the Marvel franchise, superheroes have seen a massive revival in popular culture over the past two decades. Apart from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and Captain America, who all have their roots in comics, the great mythological stories of humankind are also full of superheroes such as Hercules and Achilles from Greek mythology.

What all superheroes have in common is that they have a superpower that allows them to perform at über human levels. For example, while the comic hero The Flash can run and move extremely fast, travel through time, and phase through objects as his superpower, the Norse mythological god Thor wields the superpower of sending flashes of lightning and manipulating the weather. But did not you know that you and I also all possess a superpower in business and innovation (albeit not an über human one)?

Background: Revisiting the TIPS talent and innovator profiling system

TIPS (theories, ideas, people, systems) is the talent and innovator profiling method I created for thinkergy. When the time comes in a TIPS training workshop to introduce the 11 TIPS profiles to the audience, I usually invite the participants (all of whom have previously taken the TIPS profiling test) first to introduce their profiles to the other delegates before I add further detail to each profile description. Thereby, I ask the participants to discuss and agree on the superpowers of their respective profiles. Thus, their superpower is represented by their profile’s unique abilities and by the things they can do better than all the other profiles. 

So, in the following, allow me to introduce the superpower of each of the 11 TIPS profiles, thereby moving clockwise on the TIPS Profiling Map from the four “pure profiles” (at the corners of the map) over the six dual profiles (in between two bases) to the final profile in the center. 

Introducing the superpower of the 11 TIPS profiles

1. Theorist: The Fact Forger

Theorists are the bedrock of reason in a sea of indoctrination, misinformation, and fake news. They wield the superpower of “sense-making and logical reasoning” and the ability to distinguish hard facts from dangerous half-truths and total nonsense. They easily navigate complex information in a deductive, analytical way to distill clarity and truth. These sharp intellectuals are not just savvy critical thinkers but also construct robust theoretical frameworks and models of understanding, thus ensuring that decisions are informed and grounded in evidence. Their analytical prowess acts as a beacon, guiding through the fog of uncertainty with hard facts, thus empowering innovation with a foundation of knowledge. 

“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.” —Isaac Newton 

2. Ideator: The Change Catalyst

Ideators radiate a dynamic energy and drive for positive change (= innovation). Their superpower is to create something new out of nothing and to forcefully push a meaningful innovation toward wide adoption, notwithstanding the initial inertia of a majority that hates change. They are the creative engine that propels businesses and societies forward by turning abstract ideas into tangible innovations and progress. Their minds, fertile grounds for innovation, sprout bold ideas that challenge the status quo, demonstrating that breakthroughs that reshape our world can come from nothing. Ideators exemplify the creative spirit of transformation, illustrating through action how visionaries can create a better future.

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” —Benjamin Franklin 

3. Partner: The Empathetic Caregiver

Partners possess the superpower of empathetic care for and emotional insight into other people, enabling them to forge deep connections and profound relationships. They can spot hidden visual cues in others and discern the unspoken, thus allowing them to understand deeply the innermost feelings of those around them. Through their genuine concern and intuitive grasp of human emotions, they cultivate extensive networks and amiable environments where collaboration flourishes. Their unique ability to read and respond to emotional cues fosters trust and mutual respect, which are essential in sales and customer service roles and any successful team dynamic.

“Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers.” —J. Willard Marriott 
Real-life superheroes doing a TIPS workshop

4. Systematizer: The Formal Order Orchestrator

Systematizers excel in establishing efficient processes and a formal organizational order (through guidelines, operating procedures, benchmarks, and organizational charts). They emphasize the importance of structure and efficiency in achieving organizational goals. Their superpower lies in their unparalleled capacity to structure and systematize the chaotic activities of an organization, to bring method to mayhem. By honoring traditions and optimizing processes, Systematizers help construct a stable foundation for any organization to generate recurring revenues to fund new initiatives and innovation. They provide a critical balance between preserving cherished traditions and the status quo on the one hand and seeking controlled improvement and gradual progress on the other hand.

“Every right implies a responsibility. Every opportunity, an obligation. Every possession, a duty.” —John D. Rockefeller

5. Conceptualizer: The Next Big Thing Spotter

Conceptualizers possess the unique ability to “see the forest for the trees,” identifying opportunities and synthesizing knowledge into actionable insights. Their vision extends beyond the immediate, spotting the next big thing on the horizon and bringing it into focus. Conceptualizers epitomize the synergy between foresight and insight, illustrating how companies can ride emerging trends to drive business opportunities and innovation. Through their contributions, Conceptualizers remind us that to navigate the future, one must first envision it.

"This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.” —Bill Gates

6. Promoter: The Buzz Builder

Promoters have the innate ability to excite people about something new, thus making them the mouthpiece of innovation. They effortlessly can engage a broad audience with compelling narratives. Their superpower is their ability to communicate complex ideas in simple ways, making the intricate accessible and the mundane entertaining. Promoters underscore the value of communication in business and innovation, demonstrating how enthusiasm and clarity of the message can turn ideas into movements. Promoters are the storytellers of progress, illustrating the power of words to inspire action and positive change.

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them.” —Steve Jobs

7. Organizer: The Operational Doer

Organizers are the masters of details, delegation, and execution, orchestrating projects and people with unparalleled skill. Their superpower is in operational excellence and well-organized execution of the everyday business activities of an organization. Organizers get things done, ensure that nothing is overlooked, that every task is executed well and that the backend of a business works smoothly and consistently. Through their diligent eagerness to “sweat the small stuff” and high team and customer orientation, Organizers embody how attention to detail and effective coordination can lead to exceptional operational outcomes and increased customer satisfaction.

“The bigger Wal-Mart gets, the more essential it is that we think small.” —Sam Walton 

8. Technocrat: The Analytical Administrator

Technocrats excel in the realm of administration and information mastery. They showcase an unparalleled ability to navigate through mountains of paperwork, decode complex legal documents, and enjoy the intricacies of number-crunching. Their superpower lies in using their analytical acumen to demystify data and to handle administrative tasks and complexities with ease, thus making them indispensable in any organization. With a keen eye for detail and a strategic mind, Technocrats ensure that information is well-managed and optimized, serving as the backbone of decision-making for data-driven strategies and operational efficiency.  

“Operations for profit should be based not on optimism but on arithmetic.” —Benjamin Graham

9. Coach: The Philanthropic Philosopher

Coaches harness the ability to inspire and elevate the human spirit. They appeal to develop the dormant potential within each individual. Their superpower lies in their capacity to wisely motivate and guide others toward realizing their best selves. The Coach exemplifies the transformative power of mentorship and the impact of positive reinforcement on personal and professional growth. Coaches are virtuous philosophers advocating a rise in the collective human consciousness change who prove that through encouragement and support, individuals can improve themselves and even achieve greatness.

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” —Martin Luther King, Jr. 

10. Experimenter: The Value Multiplier

Experimenters embody an innovative "fixer-upper" spirit, approaching challenges with a mix of curiosity, creativity, and determination. Their superpower is their ability to spot bugs in an existing thing that need fixing and then employ an iterative approach —test, learn, improve— to develop enhanced solutions that add significant value. Experimenters highlight the importance of persistence and flexibility in continuous improvement and evolutionary innovation efforts. They demonstrate how a willingness to experiment can lead to substantial value enhancements and remind us that progress often requires creativity and the courage to try and fail.

“In order to fix [something], you need a passionate anger about something that doesn’t work well.” —James Dyson 

11. All-Rounder: The Juggling Maestro

All-Rounders display the art of balance and versatility and of peerlessly managing multiple priorities with grace. Their superpower is their extraordinary adaptability, allowing them to thrive in diverse roles and situations. They manage to keep all balls up in the air without dropping one. All-Rounders personify the multifaceted nature of modern business and innovation, where success often demands a broad skill set and the ability to pivot as needed. All-Rounders demonstrate the value of flexibility and the strength it brings to teams, ensuring that no challenge is too great and no task left undone.

“Being a decathlete is like having ten girlfriends. You have to love them all, and you can't afford losing one.” —Daley Thompson 

Conclusion: Uncover your superpower to add more value to business and innovation

As we know from the great Greek warrior Achilles, many superheroes also have a weakness to counter their superpowers. Achilles commanded exceptional strength and battle prowess and was nearly invulnerable thanks to being dipped into the Styx River as a child. So, he was almost invincible except for his heel, by which he was held while dipped into the river so that it didn't touch the water.

Like the superheroes, all TIPS profiles also come with an Achilles heel, i.e., a significant weakness that, in certain situations, can offset the benefits of their superpower. Fortunately, in TIPS, there is a complementing profile that can cover the Achilles heel of the other profile and compensate for their weaknesses with their respective superpower. For example, big picture-focused Conceptualizers are bad at “sweating the small stuff” but can use detail-oriented Organizers to cover their liabilities. So, just like when superheroes join forces in some Marvel movies, the TIPS profiles can also support each other and reinforce their superpowers when working together in a diverse team.

  • Would you like to learn more about TIPS? Check out our website and short video, and consider downloading our TIPS brochure. 
  • Are you curious to find out what’s your TIPS profile? Click here to take the TIPS profiling test (@ USD 89.00).
  • Are you a creative leader interested in running a TIPS Innovation Profiling Workshop —in-class or online— with your team (and as part of the training, uncover the TIPS profiles of every member)? Contact us to tell us more about your objectives so we can tailor the session to your desired goals and specific needs.

© Dr. Detlef Reis 2024.