Eleven Innovation Profiles

TIPS Innovation Profiles

With our TIPS innovation profiling method, Thinkergy wants to help people —and the firms they work for— to better understand what is their natural thinking style, work style, life style and —in the end— innovation style. With the help of a personality test that is based on the four TIPS dimensions (Theories, Ideas, People, and Systems) and a related set of TIPS dimension manifestations (e.g., Ti and iT), we distinguish 11 TIPS Innovation Profiles that capture the fundamental cognitive preferences and innovation styles of different people. In this article, we want to provide you with a basic description of the cognitive preferences and preferred thinking styles, work styles, and life styles of each TIPS profile.

1. The Theorist: Life is all about...

Theorists are abstract theoretical thinkers who are highly logical and think by using a factual, very knowledge-based and rational-analytical quantitative style. Mathematicians, philosophers, scientists, but also programmers are likely candidates for being a Theorist.

Theorists tend to enjoy living and working in an ivory tower in safe distance from the real world to further their (academic) knowledge and advance their theoretical models of the world. They have a passion for better understanding the true nature of things in the world, if not the universe.

Many Theorists are soloists who live in their heads and are too smart and rational for most “normal” people in their environment. No wonder that they are often stereotyped as “nerds”, “rocket scientists”, or “eggheads” by the “common people”. Because of their theoretical adacemic styles, most Theorists enjoy being around and argue with other theorists or people who are equally “intellectual” (such as the neighboring TIPS profiles of the Conceptualizer, the Technocrat, or Intellectual Coach.)

2. The Ideator: Life is all about...

Within the TIPS methodology, Ideators are the people who easily come up with bold, game-changing ideas that no one has ever thought of before. Moreover, they tend to have a positive greed to find ways to make these ideas happen. No wonder that Ideators write the word “Impossible” slightly different than other people: “I’m possible!”

The “I” in Ideator stands for the “8I”: ideas, invention, imagination, incubation, intuition, insights, intelligence, and innovation. Hence, Ideators symbolize the starting point of innovation (i.e., ideas) and serve as the spearhead of innovation at the forefront of change.

Most Ideators are highly individualized — or in other words, unique, original individuals who insist on creating original, unique ideas. Typically, ideators are anything but ordinary and normal; they are extraordinary and abnormal. They stand out like a black sheep in a herd of white sheep. Hence, most Ideators may come across as off-the-wall, radical and even a bit extreme in the eyes of “the establishment”.

What the establishment tends to forget is that most major progress is grounded on the creative sparks and determination of an Ideator. Ideators are natural creators who start things. They often start new ventures that later may develop into mighty corporations. They create something meaningful out of nothing. They love to create the future today and every day.

3. The Partner: Life is all about...

Partners rarely appear alone and are usually found within a group of people. This is because they love people — and love to be around people: Be it their family, friends, team members, other colleagues, clients and customers, suppliers, and other people they touch.

Among all the TIPS profiles, Partners are the ones with the highest emotional intelligence. They are very good at sensing, seeing and feeling the emotional cues and states of other people and are good communicators. Partners enjoy learning to learn more about the “soft” factors of business — and often excel in using them to produce results. No wonder that you find many partners in professional roles where people skills and relationship building matter — such as in customer service, client coverage, or sales. Their passion is to be around other people to service and engage with them.

Partners bring feelings, emotions, empathy, sympathy, soul, love and affection into the (business) world. And imagine how cold and boring a world without them would be.

4. The Systematizer: Life is all about...

Systematizers are the backbone of every mature organization or society. They are the people who ensure and enforce order. They make sure that everything —and everyone— works and smoothly fits in. Thereby, most Organizers like to control and direct from the back rather than leading from the front.

Systematizers are passionate to molding everything into a fixed, stable form: Clear (organizational) structures, efficient processes and well-running systems. While they tend to be deeply rooted in the past and pay attention to traditions, norms, rituals, and cultural customs, they mostly enjoy focusing on present issues at hand. This is because they like things to run smoothly and be well-optimized in ways that produce straightforward results.

5. The Conceptualizer: Life is all about

Conceptualizers think faster than most people around them and enjoy to quickly move from project to project, challenge to challenge, new concept to concept. They are fast learners and excellent analysts and synthesizers in one, because they combine good analytical and creative thinking capabilities and feel at home with both quantitative and qualitative work assignments.

Most Conceptualizers are good at seeing patterns, emerging trends, possibilities and opportunities that others fail to notice. Moreover, they quickly grasp the essence of a fuzzy, ambiguous situation or issue. Being abstract conceptual thinkers, conceptualizers tend to excel at creating new concepts that they either deduct or adapt from new knowledge — or freshly come up with by themselves.

With their passion for new technologies, theoretical concepts and ideas, many Conceptualizers end up in professional roles as (strategy) consultants, scientists, programmers, market researchers, among others.

6. The Promoter: Life is all about...

Promoters are natural evangelists who are ideally suited to spread the word, spread the message, spread an idea — be it a smart new product, a great new service, a cool new brand, or a clever new campaign.

Typically, they are witty, creative and spontaneous communicators full of charisma, and often even possess a more or less pronounced star appeal.

Promoters can easily reach out to others and have the rare talent to inspire people to take a desired action: For example, to buy a new product, try a new solution, talk about a brand, or convince a team to go after an “impossible” sales target.  In short, Promoters are great influencers, motivators and entertainers in the best of cases — and dangerous manipulators and demagogues in the worst of cases.

7. The Organizer: Life is all about...

Organizers are down-to-earth, “hands-on” people —one may say that they are the hands of an organization that get things done in practical yet caring ways: They tend to employ a systematic, effective, results-producing and quality-oriented work style, yet are also always human-centered and considerate.

Organizers tend to be more punctual, structured and reliable than Partners — and more friendly, approachable and service-minded than Systematizers. Organizers excel in organizational liaison roles where they coordinate activities with customers, suppliers or other stakeholders of an organization. Hence, they often can be found in jobs and roles that are linked to back-office or front office support functions, such as Customer Service Center, Customer Support, Operations and Event Organization.

8. The Technocrat: Life is all about...

Technocrats excel at applying well-established knowledge in practical ways into an organization (e.g., in the form of working papers, guidelines, policies, manuals, working instructions, etc.). They are very quality-focused and ensure that things are kept in proper order — and that people follow the rules.

Many Technocrats like to collect things: Money, shares, assets, books, and stories about the past, among others. In this connection, it is interesting to note that many Technocrats have a thing about “paper” and tend to collect, store, consume, produce and distribute “paper” in all forms: Articles, books, memos, manuals, handbooks, guidelines, operating procedures, policy papers, account statements, financial statements, auditing reports, among many others.

9. The Experimenter: Life is all about...

Experimenters love to test what works and what doesn’t. They look for ways to fix what doesn’t work to make it work again. Many experimenters enjoy to dig in deep into an issue, and to get their own hands “dirty” to feel, see, hear, smell, and taste things to deeply understand how something works or may possibly work.

Experimenters combine the patience and stubborn persistence of a Systematizer with an Ideator’s creativity and greed to make things happen. Their work style alternates between fluent, rough and dirty at some times, and thorough, detailed and precise at other times. Being technical, manual, and craftsman-like, they enjoy to (rapidly) prototypes ideas, designs, systems, processes and even new business ventures to quickly find out how to make things work.

Experimenters are passionate to understand, twist and refine the nuts and bolds of an idea, design, system, or business. Many designers, architects, serial entrepreneurs, system-builders, model-builders, artists or craftsmen are Experimenters.

10. The Coach: Life is all about...

Coaches love to discover and develop human talent, and coach people to achieve goals in their professional careers as well as their private lives. Thereby, they follow a theory- and knowledge-based approach coupled with compassionate, empathic and emotional motivational tactics and strategies.

Backed with a sound theoretical foundation, Coaches enjoy learning more about and instructing others in the virtues of “soft” business skills and success mindsets. They are masters in harmoniously aligning and empowering a team to pursue and achieve an important joint goal.

With their passion to get the best out of people and make them realize ambitious desired goals, many coaches professionally orientate themselves to the domains of psychology, self-development, Human Resources development, organizational behavior and organizational change.

11. The All-Rounder: Life is all about...

All-Rounders tend to be competent with many skills and learned in many knowledge domains, but not necessarily show an outstanding talent or fixated interest in any particular one. While some call them “jack of all trades, master of none”, All-Rounders relish their great flexibility and broad general interests in many areas and disciplines, similar to All-Rounders in sport disciplines such as Decathlon, Triathlon, Modern Pentathlon, etc.

Why is someone an All-Rounder? Well, in most cases, they enjoy it and prefer the great variety and flexibility associated with being an All-Rounder. In other cases, people end up being classified as an All-Rounder because they may belong to one of these groups:

  • Junior employees who have no choice but doing work and projects assigned by their boss or senior colleagues — and thus working as an All-Rounder;
  • Young adults who have not fully explored their personal cognitive preferences yet;
  • Employees who regard their work as just doing a job and prefer to give priority to other areas outside work (such as their family, friends, or favorite hobbies).

Some see being an All-Rounder as a potential disadvantage to making a career, as higher positions often require specific traits and skills. However, others think in exactly the opposite way, highlighting that because they are highly flexible, All-Rounders have a professional advantage because they can work in multiple roles and projects and thus can easily stay employed even in bad times, and with a bit of luck and connections make a good career. Whatever line of thought you prefer to follow: Every team and organization needs to have a few All-Rounders — and fortunately, roughly one in five people fall into this category.

Conclusion: It is important to notice that no TIPS profile is better or worse than the others. Every TIPS profile is valuable for organizations, and every TIPS profile can contribute to the innovation efforts of a firm, albeit in very different ways and to different degrees. Now you may wonder what is your innovation profile. Contact us and do the TIPS personality test to find out.