Gallup CliftonStrengths® is an assessment of personality, rooted in the theory of positive psychology. Research indicates that people who know and use their strengths every day are more likely to experience positive emotions (energy, happiness, respect) and less likely to experience negative emotions (stress, worry, anger, sadness). The assessment identifies an individual’s top five “Signature Themes” from a list of 34 common talents. Individuals can then develop those talents into strengths, and apply those strengths in all areas of their life.
Overview of Ideation Theme
You’re an idea guy. The world is a blank canvas and your mission is to paint it with possibilities. Innovation is your middle name. Nothing delights you more than the discovery process– and nothing frustrates you more than being shut down by close-minded thinkers. You attack problems head-on, embracing challenges as a pathway towards fresh ideas. To you, every new idea is valid, no matter if it’s eccentric or mundane: you don’t judge. You chafe when managers prematurely shut down project ideation as they rush to meet deliverable timelines. How can your team be successful if it skips over the most critical part?
Action Items for the Significance Strength
Choose the right job. You thrive at companies that prioritize innovation and creativity. Look for positions where you’ll have abundant time to reflect, explore, brainstorm and collaborate with fellow Ideators and Futurists. Before accepting a new job, try to gauge a company’s cultural norms around innovation: are there significant barriers to new ideas or does the company embrace outside-the-box thinking? Avoid companies with inflexible processes and red tape.
Improve your communication skills. Some coworkers may label you as “impractical” and “all over the place,” especially if you struggle to communicate your ideas succinctly. Don’t assume your coworkers will connect the dots on their own. Practice explaining the reasoning behind your idea, sharing relevant data to prove your idea’s value, and tying the idea back to the project objectives.
Pick the right partners. Struggling to justify your idea? Talk to your Analytical coworker who will push you to prove your idea’s value and back up your claims with data. Can’t seem to turn any ideas into reality? Partner with a strong Activator who will help you put a plan into action.
Exercise your imagination. With your ability to draw inspiration from seemingly disparate sources, the world is your creative oyster. Make time to read and enjoy creative pursuits away from the office: you’ll come back to work refreshed.
How to Manage Someone with the Ideation Strength
Your employee with a strong Ideation theme is your brainstorming ace, always dreaming up new ideas and inspiring the team with his imagination and creative thinking. But just as quickly as they can brainstorm 10 new product concepts, they can become disengaged and frustrated. Why the mood swing? They struggle when the team doesn’t share their vision or rushes ahead to other project tasks before they’re done ideating. To keep your Ideator engaged and effectively leverage their talents, try the following:
Help them think. Give your Ideator time to generate fresh ideas away from the pressure of deliverable deadlines. Keep them in the loop on other ideas floating around with the company. These ideas may inspire them to think differently about problems. Resist the urge to grab an idea and run with it before they’re ready.
Help them stay engaged. An employee with the Ideation theme thrives when solving problems that require innovative approaches. Present them with a challenge and they’ll bring a fresh perspective that’s beneficial to the team. They’ll also draw great personal satisfaction from the ideation process, keeping them engaged and energized at work. Compliment your employee on their creative thinking and help them understand that their contributions are valued even if their ideas are not used.
Help them grow. If your employee tends to be all ideas but no action, provide gentle guidance by strategically pairing them with complimentary coworkers. A coworker strong in the Analytical theme can help your Idea Employee learn how to pitch ideas by telling a compelling story and backing up their assertions with data. Pair Your Idea Employee with a coworker who excels in the Activator theme and they’ll get a crash course in bringing ideas to life.
Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, CliftonStrengths®and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. For more information, or to take the CliftonStrengths assessment, visit www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.