How do you establish a culture where your team acts as creatively and resourcefully as you do? As an entrepreneur, you face unprecedented problems, and you solve them by wearing every hat, every mismatched sock, and every oversized shoe—sometimes all at the same time. As you are busy planning new product launches and juggling your often limited resources, you may not take the time to think about something that can be extremely useful. Each small business owner and each team member has his or her own unique creative styles—and it’s based on our personality type.
Most Important Thing for Leaders to Know
When it comes to building a creative culture, small firms and the people they attract have a competitive advantage over large corporations. To hold that advantage, the one most important thing for leaders to know is this: most often, the members of our teams have completely different personality types and creative styles than we do.
A group with different creative styles is beneficial when managed properly, since diversity in all forms brings about new ideas and innovations; however, managing a creative team isn’t easy. We know that inevitable failures are a part of achieving creative success. While we learn from our mistakes, too much failure in a small business is disastrous.
Reduce Avoidable Errors
We can reduce avoidable errors and improve the way we collaborate by learning more about each other’s personality strengths. For example, don’t mistakenly put your star pitcher in left field. When you are leading a small team, everyone plays an essential role. Knowing each person’s strengths allows each member to contribute to their greatest potential.
Personality Types: Sensors and Intuitives
The different ways of being creative starts with how we gather information, and there are two different ways that people prefer to do this. People we call Sensors prefer to use their five senses to gather every detail from their present environment. These types of people are hands-on, realistic and prefer to use what’s immediately available to solve problems today. Sensors’ creativity often involves making practical and incremental improvements within a system.
Sensors Innovate Best By:
- Taking Small Steps to Make Incremental Improvements
- Solving Immediate Problems
- Considering Facts to Build a Whole
Intuitives, on the other hand, prefer to gather information by making abstract generalizations and connecting patterns. They tend to solve anticipated problems—problems their customers don’t yet realize they will have in the future. Intuitives tend to create entirely new products and services where none has existed before.
Intuitives Innovate Best By:
- Starting with a Vision
- Breaking the Mold
- Developing and Applying Theories
Best of Both Worlds
Both types make fine entrepreneurs and team members, both can see things in a new way, and both can act creatively. Of course, there is some overlap between the two styles. However, when we are acting within our preferred style, we are most creative and most engaged.
Entrepreneurs who understand these creative differences gain strength from collaborating with partners and team members with differing personality. Through teamwork and understanding of our creative differences, more differentiated products or services can be offered by:
- Considering the details and the big picture.
- Reaching today’s markets with an eye toward producing products for tomorrow’s changing demands.
- Executing a vision within an existing system.
When we act within our personality preferences, we are most engaged and most creative. To build creative cultures, with strong teams that are engaged, the first step is to learn about your personality types and that of your team.
How do you balance personality types on your team?