Do you know what kind of thinker you are?

Do you know what kind of thinker you are? Learn your team thinking dynamics and craft the Think Tank mix.


Thinking Diversity

It’s common to take personality tests to understand team dynamics but what about understanding how each member of your team thinks.

The drive is for thinking diversity.
To give your Think Tank the best balance of thinking ingredients to go from idea to implementation.

Mark Bonchek and Elisa Steele at Harvard Business Review, offer a way to map our individual thinking style, that informs how we Think within the team.


The 8 Thinker types for your think tank

The Big Picture Thinkers

  • Explorer – The blue sky creatives, the idea generators.
  • Planner – The pragmatists, looking for process within the idea
  • Energizer – Mobilizes the troops to take action and will drive the idea with energy.
  • Connector – ideas are within the context of building and strengthening relationships.

The Devil in the Detail Thinkers

  • Expert – Thinking is about objectivity, skill and knowledge
  • Optimizer – Thinking is improving productivity and efficiency
  • Producer – Ideas focus on delivery
  • Coach – Focused on growth and potential.

Important Note

People are too mysterious to define to boxes. Allow the profiles to inform your decisions but do not limit the thinking potential of your team by a category.

We are capable of each of these thinking styles, but there will be one core style that feels more energising.

“don’t limit the thinking potential of your people by a category.”

We are attracted to people who think like us.

The big picture thinkers are frustrated by the detail devils, and the detail thinkers are flummoxed by the blue skyers.

In the past, these thinkers would be separated. The creatives are in the basement and the client facing accounts are upstairs (I was always in the basement!).

This old way of doing things give us a lopsided view of the idea algorithm. It becomes all ideas and no process, or all process and no vision.

The keys to crafting your think tank

  1. Know the thinking ID of your team
  2. Assign loose thinking roles based on their profiles (see important note above)
  3. Make sure you have a thinking mix. For example, a design team may have more explorers than producers and could benefit from members with detail focus.