Ideation: Thinking & Creating Outside the Box

A CliftonStrengths Theme Spotlight

"People exceptionally talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena." -The Gallup Organization

The Talents of People High in Ideation

People high in the Ideation theme are known for their agile minds. Their ability to process information quickly and make connections between many variables means that they are spontaneous, innovative, and extremely creative.

Their desire to defy conventional wisdom and think outside of the box explains why originality and uniqueness is so important to them. They are often bored with the same old routine and become frustrated when the majority of their responsibilities are mundane in nature. In contrast, they thrive and flourish in dynamic working environments where their creativity and innovation is appreciated and nurtured. When working with others, those high in Ideation bring new and fresh perspectives and challenge the status quo. They are perpetually motivated to improve on the existing processes, procedures or products.

Regardless of the specific industry - whether an artist, designer, entrepreneur, copyrighter, teacher, or any other profession, the person high in Ideation is most energized when they are creating or contributing to something new. The type of creation is up to them and their unique interests and experiences.

One leader we know with an Ideation theme said it this way:

"I can devour books or research, look at the ways other people are doing things, or think back on previous experiences to give me the energy I need to generate a lot of ideas in a short amount of time. I like to work in bursts, followed by periods of more thinking. I have always loved to make interesting things come alive."

The Temptations for People High in Ideation

Because people high in the Ideation theme are driven to think about new and fresh perspectives, they can sometimes overwhelm themselves or others with the amount of ideas they bring to the table in a short period of time. Unless they have the ability to filter their ideas down to the most crucial and impactful ones for the context at hand, they might create more work for themselves or others.

A strong preference for the new can also mean they resist processes or procedures that have stood the test of time. Others might perceive them as "daydreamers" who are always reinventing for unjustified purposes.

Additionally, sometimes people high in Ideation can struggle with executing on their ideas. Their brilliance lies in their ability to generate new and interesting ideas, but many with this theme describe a struggle when it comes to making their ideas happen.

The same leader mentioned above added this:

"I've got too many ideas and not enough time to develop them all! I've been guilty of throwing a million ideas out there and expecting my team members to follow-through on them when I'm not even sure what will work and what won't. I've really had to learn how to filter my ideas down to the most relevant and inspiring ones so that we can focus on a few things at a time. "


Here are a couple of quick ideas to get you thinking about how to leverage and self-regulate if you've got a dominant Ideation theme:

  1. Look for opportunities to bring new insight and energy to your teams and workplace. Your ability to take existing ideas and create something even more novel and exciting is a gift you bring to the table. Don't take this creative energy for granted!

  2. Consider partnering with people who can help you create actionable plans around your best ideas. Your creativity will be most impactful when you have a plan to execute and make things happen.

  3. When leading a team or working with others, make sure you communicate about your intentions around your Ideation theme. Are you just thinking out-loud and brainstorming? Or are you expecting your team to act on your ideas? If you are clear with your thought process, your team will be better equipped to partner with you.

At ROI Talent Development, we try to help people fall in love with every single talent theme, even if it isn't dominant in their own theme sequence. Because when we all take the time to understand and appreciate one another, we build happy and healthy workplaces where employee talents are valued and developed.

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