Monthly Archives: August 2014

Six Generative Types

Remember the research IBM did in 2010 with 1,500 CEO’s in 33 industries, asking them what employee traits they most valued going forward in these complex times? The project where the number answer was Creative Leadership?

Note: There is a nearly 100% overlap in their use of Creative Leadership and my use of Creative Entrepreneurship.

I tracked down the researchers who led the project; they told me that IBM developed a four-part taxonomy of creative types to help their employees think about their creative and entrepreneurial qualities. The theory is that self-reflection is useful as folks commit to being and becoming the most creatively entrepreneurial version of themselves they can be.

I agree with the theory: I have shared the four types with my Duke students since I learned of them, and it does help. It especially helps those who haven’t considered themselves either creative or entrepreneurial.

Together my students and I have added two more types to IBM’s original four, and we start with theirs.

Are you…

An Explorer? Do you express your creative qualities and entrepreneurial behaviors because you are excited by the unknown, because you love discovering new ideas or opportunities?

An Artist? Are you motivated to be creative and entrepreneurial by a need to express your personal vision, a vision you want to share with others, whether to entertain or inform?

A Warrior? Do you love to compete, to show you are the best, and eager to use your creatively entrepreneurial skills to win?

A Saint? Are you motivated to be creative because you like to serve, you want to help others, you want to use your generative talents to help make the world a better place?

An Orchestrator? Are your creative and entrepreneurial talents those needed to recruit people together to help them accomplish something great?

A Cultivator? Do you enjoy taking on a project or organization someone has started and use your generative qualities to make it even better?

My students consider their makeup—I’ve yet to find anyone who reports they are 100% of any one of these things—and since we do this at the beginning of semester, one of their first entries in their journal is an insight into what they’ve realized.

A couple of weeks later I ask them to read their first description, to reconsider it, and then think about what trait from the other types would be most useful for them to intentionally add next. Then I ask them to draw it.