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Innovation comes from creative tension, not harmonious interaction, says Dean of Innovation Jeff DeGraff. He identifies four basic approaches to innovation and shows how leaders can manage the inevitable conflicts between them to create brilliant, unexpected hybrid solutions. The four dominant world views are Artist, Athlete, Engineer, and Sage. They will also show four leadership dimensions of Orientation, Flexibility, Momentum, and Magnitude within the four dominant world views. The graphic results will show the the four approaches at the individual and the organizational levels.
Format: Online Subscription
Price: $9.95 for one-year subscription, or five tests, whichever comes first
Description: This instrument consists of 24 question, 12 pertaining to the individual and 12 pertaining to the organization. For each section, consider the answer choices for each question and rank them in order of their relevancy. The assessment will produce a graphic of your results and interpretation from the coauthors. You can take the test up to five times within a 12-month period and compare your results.
Harmony is sublime in music, but it’s deadly to innovation. The only way to create new hybrid solutions is to clash. Innovation occurs when people with contrasting perspectives and complementary areas of expertise are in one room. We innovate best with people who challenge us, not people who agree.
The best innovation teams are like bands of superheroes: members recognize their individual gifts and talents, but they don’t let those superpowers limit them. They know when to rely on their own skills and when their partners should take over.
Before you can create your own team of superheroes, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Have your colleagues or friends take this assessment too. Then create space and time to discuss each other’s results openly and honestly. The trick is not to hide your weaknesses, but to surround yourself with people who are strong where you are weak.
Jeff DeGraff is both an advisor to Fortune 500 companies and a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. His simultaneously creative and pragmatic approach to making innovation happen has led clients and colleagues to dub him the Dean of Innovation. He has written several books, including Creativity at Work, Leading Innovation, Innovation You, and, most recently, Making Stone Soup. Jeff's thoughts on innovation are covered by Inc., Fortune, and Psychology Today to name a few. He has a regular segment on public radio called The Next Idea.
Staney DeGraff is the CEO of Innovatrium, a laboratory and consulting firm specializing in creating innovation culture and capabilities in multinational corporations. She works with large organizations, universities, and municipalities to create a sustainable innovation ecosystem that can grow organically and connect the dots between cutting-edge research, talent acquisition and retention, commercialization, and economic development.