While watching an interesting talk on TEDxCopenhagen 2009, I heard about a very interesting model developed by an academic in Canada called Dr. Min Basadur. As it seems Dr. Basadur is one of the renowned minds on applied creativity in North America. You can read more about him here. It raises interesting questions. We often use the terms “creative” or “innovative” to describe people who seem full of ideas, adventurous. But how often do we say the same thing of ourselves? How often do we acknowledge that we are as creative and original as our colleagues?

What Dr. Basadur proposes as a framework for developing teams looks like this:

Four Stage Creative ProcessThe model describes four types of personalities:

1) Individuals inclined toward generating: often suggest possible opportunities for change and improvement based on their continually scanning the environment,picking up data and cues

2) People who tend to have dominant conceptualizer styles: lead the pulling together of the facts and idea fragments into well-defined, insightful problems and challenges and more clearly developed ideas and projects worth further evaluation

3) People with optimization inclinations: usually lead in taking these well defined ideas and finding a practical best solution and detailing efficient plans for proceeding

4) Individuals who enjoy the implementation phase of innovation: will lead in carrying forward the practical solutions and plans to implement them.

Each unique style reflects individual preferences for ways of gaining and using knowledge. Some people prefer to understand things more byexperiencing while others prefer to use abstract thinking and analysis to understand. Also, some prefer to use understanding for generating options while others prefer to use understanding to evaluate options.

Finally, Dr Basadur discovered that teams consisting of only one personality type are characterized by easier workflow because of similar working styles but less creativity and productivity, while teams consisting of different personality types have more difficult workflow due to different working styles but are much more creative and productive.

It is quite interesting how many companies think about that when establishing project teams?