TEAMROLES IN INNOVATION

In  the international bestseller book (2016), The Ten Faces of Innovation, Strategies for heigthening Creativity,  Tom Kelley (and Jonathan Litman) state that, in order to achieve groundbreaking innovation, you need to integrate multiple viewpoints — personas, the different faces of innovation.
 

You don’t literally need ten different people to be part of your innovation team.
However, you need a core team of diverse people, with each person representing multiple faces of innovation throughout the process.
As Kelley writes:
“We’ve found that adopting one or more of these roles can help teams express a different point of view and create a broader range of innovative solutions.”
Kelley groups the Ten Faces of Innovation into three categories:

Learning Personas

Individuals and organizations need to constantly gather new sources of information in order to expand their knowledge and grow, so the first three personas are learning roles. These personas are driven by the idea that no matter how successful a company currently is, no one can afford to be complacent.
The world is changing at an accelerated pace, and today’s great idea may be tomorrow’s anachronism.
The learning roles help keep your team from becoming too internally focused and remind the organization not to be so smug about what you know.

People who adopt the learning roles are humble enough to question their own worldview, and in doing so, they remain open to new insights every day.



Learning Teamroles
1. The Anthropologist
2. The Experimenter
3. The Cross-Pollinator

Organizing Personas

The next three personas are organizing roles, played by individuals who are savvy about the often counter-intuitive process of how organizations move ideas forward.
At Ideo*, we used to believe that the ideas should speak for themselves.
Now we understand what the Hurdler, the Collaborator, and the Director have known all along: that even the best ideas must continuously compete for time, attention, and resources. Those who adopt these organizing roles don’t dismiss the process of budget and resource allocation as “politics” or “red tape.” They recognize it as a complex game of chess, and they play to win.

*IDEO is an international design and consulting firm founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. Kelley is one of the founders of IDEO.


Organizing Teamroles
4. The Hurdler
5. The Collaborator
6. The Director

Building Personas

The four remaining personas are building roles that apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organizing roles to make innovation happen. When people adopt the building personas, they stamp their mark on your organization. People in these roles are highly visible, so you’ll often find them right at the heart of the action.

Building Teamroles
7. The Experience Architect
8. The Set Designer
9. The Storyteller
10. The Caregiver

LDpe has connected the profiles of these Innovation Teamroles to the Leadership Development Toolbox (and the Simulation Module) and included Kelley's concept of the Ten Faces of Innovation in its Advanced Team Design Tool.

Ten Faces of Innovation Group Profile
Ten Faces of Innovation Individual Profiles
Ten Faces of Innovation Individual Profiles