Diversity can help you in your creative pursuits. Diversity can be applied to yourself to help make you more creative, and it can optimally be applied when working with other people.
We all fall into a rut from time to time that limits our creativity. Diversity is a way to break out of that and look at something from perspectives we might not have otherwise.
This episode discusses:
- Applying diversity to yourself
- Seek different kinds of people to interact with, different kinds of knowledge, learning, and experiences
- Break out of your routine
- Be an active observer
- Applying diversity to your team
- You can diversify by gender, age, culture
- You can diversify by job function. This produces a Cross-Functional Team aka Business Team. Team members can include, as appropriate, a representative from marketing, sales, finance, production, engineering, technical documentation, QA, etc.
- You can diversify by team role. Doing/Acting Roles (Implementer, Shaper, Completer/Finisher), Thinking/Problem Solving Roles (Plant, Monitor/Evaluator, Specialist), and People/Feelings Role (Coordinator, Team Worker, Resource/Investigator)
- Can add others to your team, like customers, investors, and other stakeholders, but try to keep team smallish, maybe 6-12 people, and keep communication complexity low.
- You can diversify by personality types. This may come anyway, but by paying attention to it, you can optimize for it. Be aware of conflict sure to arise from people of different personality types (and even the same types) and the need to manage conflict. Personality models briefly discussed:
Social Style Matrix, PIAV (Personal Interests, Attitudes, and Values), Jung-based models and the Jung Type Indicator, DiSC.
References used in the episode:
- The Managerial Decision-making Process, by E. Frank Harrison, for discussion on falling into ruts and breaking out of them, advantages of working with a group (page 232), and communication complexity vs. creativity (page 226).
- Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius, by Michael Michalko, for a discussion on how creative people look for alternate ways to think about a subject, even when the old ways are well established, that they will create a large number of different perspectives and then pick one they want (page 285).
- MovieMaker magazine I mentioned.
- Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules, by Steve McConnell, for a discussion on team members and roles (pages 282-284, kinds of teams (pages 300-301), and Business Team structure (page 304).
- Death March (2nd Edition) (Yourdon Press Series), by Edward Yourdon, for a discussion on team roles (page 115).
- The Creative Spirit, by Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray, for a discussion on diversity by age, geographical region, political faction, and culture (pages 171-174).
- Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition), by Michael Michalko, for a discussion of diversifying people for brainstorming (page 297).
- Belbin’s Team Roles
- Social Style Matrix info
- Selling: Building Partnerships, by Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., for a discussion on the Social Style Matrix (pages 153-157).
- PIAV article in Wikipedia
- PIAV info from The Coughlin Group
- Jung Type Indicator info
- Jung Typology Test at HumanMetrics
- Jung Type Indicator article in Wikipedia
- Myers-Briggs Type indicator Wikipedia article
- DiSC Wikipedia article
- Manager-Tools DiSC info. This contains some free DiSC resources. The podcasts are all free, though for the specialized ones you’ll need to register as a member (which is also free). There’s also some handy PDFs that can be found there.