Five Free Nine Innovation Roles Gifts

Five Free Nine Innovation Roles GiftsClique aquí para la versión en Español

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Are you innovative or not?

Do you possess innovator’s DNA?

What about an innovation personality?

I cringe every time I see a new article trying to basically say that some people are innovative and others are not, or than certain individuals are more innovative than others.

Hogwash I say!

It’s just not true. I’m a firm believer that it’s not personalities that matter so much when it comes to innovation, it’s the roles that we play in making innovation happen (or not) and as a result individuals must bring their innovation strengths together into a well-balanced, complete team in order to achieve innovation success.

One of the most toxic innovation myths is the idea, or the myth, of the lone innovator. The truth is that if you point to any supposed lone innovator, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs to Alexander Graham Bell, all of these people had whole teams of people working behind the curtain on the innovations that are popularly ascribed to them. It may be easier for our human brains to elevate individuals to the role of innovation heroes, but the fact is that innovation is a team sport.

Invention and creativity can be solo activities, but innovation is collaborative by its very nature. Because innovation success requires collaboration, it is more beneficial for organizations to take a roles-based approach to innovation than a personality or skill-centric approach to innovation. With this in mind I created the Nine Innovation Roles to be part of my popular book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire – published by John Wiley & Sons.

The following is an excerpt from my book:

“Too often we treat people as commodities that are interchangeable and maintain the same characteristics and aptitudes. Of course, we know that people are not interchangeable, yet we continually pretend that they are anyway — to make life simpler for our reptile brain to comprehend. Deep down we know that people have different passions, skills, and potential, but even when it comes to innovation, we expect everybody to have good ideas.

I’m of the opinion that all people are creative, in their own way. That is not to say that all people are creative in the sense that every single person is good at creating lots of really great ideas, nor do they have to be. I believe instead that everyone has a dominant innovation role at which they excel, and that when properly identified and channeled, the organization stands to maximize its innovation capacity. I believe that all people excel at one of nine innovation roles, and that when organizations put the right people in the right innovation roles, that your innovation speed and capacity will increase.”

Announcing Free Tools for the Nine Innovation RolesNow for the big news. The news I’m so excited to share with you today.

I’m proud to announce today that I’m setting the Nine Innovation Roles free, and I’ll provide you with all of the tools that you need to conduct a Nine Innovation Roles workshop or team meeting inside your organization to enhance the success of your innovation teams – for FREE.

Some people think I’m crazy to help people not hire me, but because of my collaborative and people-centric approach to innovation I would like to give everyone five free gifts:

  1. The Nine Innovation Roles themselves
  2. Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles presentation for team meetings or workshops
  3. Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles Worksheet for gathering data on team makeup
  4. Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles card deck design that I use with Fortune 500 clients
  5. Nine Innovation Roles video for use in team meetings or workshops

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Free Gift #1 – The Nine Innovation Roles themselves

Below you will find definitions of each of The Nine Innovation Roles. One of the most common questions is ‘Can I be more than one role?’. The answer is that typically we all may feel that we tend more towards 1-3 roles, but it would be hard for someone to excel at more than this. It is also possible for people to fill different roles at different parts of the innovation lifecycle, or to be called upon to fill a role that may not be one of their strengths.

While it is not ideal to have someone fill a role that it is not their strength, it is often better than a team not having all of the roles filled. The most successful innovation teams will of course both have all of the roles performed by team members, but also by team members for whom that role is one of their natural strengths.

Revolutionary - 9 Innovation Roles 1. Revolutionary

The Revolutionary is the person who is always eager to change things, to shake them up, and to share his or her opinion. These people tend to have a lot of great ideas and are not shy about sharing them. They are likely to contribute 80 to 90 percent of your ideas in open scenarios.

Conscript - 9 Innovation Roles 2. Conscript

The Conscript has a lot of great ideas but doesn’t willingly share them, either because such people don’t know anyone is looking for ideas, don’t know how to express their ideas, prefer to keep their head down and execute, or all three.

Connector - 9 Innovation Roles 3. Connector

The Connector does just that. These people hear a Conscript say something interesting and put him together with a Revolutionary; The Connector listens to the Artist and knows exactly where to find the Troubleshooter that his idea needs.

Artist - 9 Innovation Roles 4. Artist

The Artist doesn’t always come up with great ideas, but artists are really good at making them better.

Customer Champion - 9 Innovation Roles 5. Customer Champion

The Customer Champion may live on the edge of the organization. Not only does he have constant contact with the customer, but he also understands their needs, is familiar with their actions and behaviors, and is as close as you can get to interviewing a real customer about a nascent idea.

Troubleshooter - 9 Innovation Roles 6. Troubleshooter

Every great idea has at least one or two major roadblocks to overcome before the idea is ready to be judged or before its magic can be made. This is where the Troubleshooter comes in. Troubleshooters love tough problems and often have the deep knowledge or expertise to help solve them.

Judge - 9 Innovation Roles 7. Judge

The Judge is really good at determining what can be made profitably and what will be successful in the marketplace.

Magic Maker - 9 Innovation Roles 8. Magic Maker

The Magic Makers take an idea and make it real. These are the people who can picture how something is going to be made and line up the right resources to make it happen.

Evangelist - 9 Innovation Roles 9. Evangelist

The Evangelists know how to educate people on what the idea is and help them understand it. Evangelists are great people to help build support for an idea internally, and also to help educate customers on its value.

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Free Gift #2 – Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles presentation for team meetings or workshops
(Please Note: I’m sharing this for internal use only, service providers will need to procure a license/certification to use it for commercial purposes)

This presentation is designed to introduce The Nine Innovation Roles framework to your team meeting or internal workshop audience. In addition to sharing definitions of each of The Nine Innovation Roles in a presentation suitable for projection, I’m happy to provide a series of questions that you can use to guide group interaction – ideally with the Nine Innovation Roles cards (Free Gift #4).

This presentation is most effective when combined with The Nine Innovation Roles cards (Free Gift #4) and some sort of inspirational message prior to going through it to get people in the mindset that innovation is everyone’s job and that everyone can contribute to the overall innovation efforts of the organization. A subset of some the messages I use in my collaborative innovation workshops is contained in the video below (Free Gift #5).



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Free Gift #3 – Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles Worksheet for gathering data on team makeup

You can use this worksheet to have your team evaluate themselves and just gather the self-evaluations to see which roles are represented and which are missing (usual the most important piece of data), or alternatively to have everyone evaluate every other team member as well to provide a kind of 360-degree type feedback to each individual (i.e. You think you’re a Revolutionary but everyone else thinks you’re an Artist).

Download the simple Nine Innovation Roles worksheet

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Free Gift #4 – Downloadable Nine Innovation Roles card deck design that I use with Fortune 500 clients

Nine Innovation Roles Card Deck

To make my Nine Innovation Roles framework accessible to as many people as possible inside organizations all around the world to explore and improve innovation team dynamics and success, I am happy to announce that I have now made the print-ready files for the cards available here for FREE download – http://sdrv.ms/YXFP47 – and you can either work with the vendor I use – adMagic – or work with a local printer in your part of the world.

I’ve made the card design available so that people without a budget to bring me in to conduct a keynote combined with a workshop to make the most of the framework can still benefit by getting the cards printed and using them together with the downloadable Nine Innovation Roles presentation (Free Gift #2) and/or the Nine Innovation Roles video (Free Gift #5).

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Free Gift #5 – Nine Innovation Roles video for use in team meetings or workshops
(Please Note: I’m sharing this for internal use only, service providers will need to procure a license/certification to use it for commercial purposes)

This video is designed to help you introduce The Nine Innovation Roles framework to your team meeting or internal workshop audience. In addition to sharing definitions of each of The Nine Innovation Roles suitable for projection, it also provides a series of questions that you can use to guide group interaction – ideally with the Nine Innovation Roles cards (Free Gift #4).

This video is most effective when combined with The Nine Innovation Roles cards (Free Gift #4) along with your own personal messages and examples to get people into the mindset that innovation is everyone’s job and that everyone can contribute to the overall innovation efforts of the organization. I’ve included a subset of some the messages I use in my collaborative innovation workshops.



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Conclusion

As you can see, creating and maintaining a healthy innovation portfolio requires that you develop the organizational capability of identifying what role each individual is best at playing in your organization. It should be obvious that a failure to involve and leverage all nine roles along the idea generation, idea evaluation, and idea commercialization path will lead to sub-optimal results. To be truly successful, you must be able to bring in the right roles at the right times to make your promising ideas stronger on your way to making them successful. Most organizations focus too much energy on generating the ideas and not enough on developing their ideas or their people. And of course people, not ideas, are the key to successful innovation.

I’m extremely proud that these tools will enable you to strengthen your collaborative innovation efforts and explore The Nine Innovation Roles for free and on your own.

Collaborate to innovate!

Clique aquí para la versión en Español

Cliquez ici pour la version française

Klicka här för den svenska versionen

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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

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8 Responses to Five Free Nine Innovation Roles Gifts

  1. Pingback: Setting the Nine Innovation Roles Free | Une passion pour l'humain dans toutes ses vérités :-) by Pharmacomptoir | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Putting Together An Innovation Team For Your Business | organizational transformation | Scoop.it

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  5. claire@redvespa says:

    Braden, Thank you so much for sharing. Totally awesome attitude :-)

    • Braden Kelley says:

      Thank you for the reply Claire and for helping to spread the word about these free tools.

      All the best,

      Braden

  6. Pingback: Innovation Excellence | Five Free Nine Innovation Roles Gifts | Value Innovation | Scoop.it

  7. Pingback: Innovation Excellence | Top 100 Innovation Articles of 2013

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Innovation Authors - Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson

Your hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers and strategic advisors to many of the world’s leading companies.

“Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by making innovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.”