Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ideation: A New Perspective on Familiar Challenges - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Ideation with guest Maureen Electa Monte. 





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You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. 

You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary and because they are bizarre. For all these reasons, you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days, this is enough.

Ideation is about coming up with ideas that have never existed before, and connecting ideas in ways that have never been obvious. What Ideation is looking for is what hasn’t been thought of. Ideation sees what is strangely enlightening. Ideation brings a creative level of intelligence. There is a constant stream of creativity that never seems to run out.

If as an individual Ideation is about discovering new angles and new concepts, as a leader it is about helping other people see those. Fresh and new are words you would use with Ideation. For your followers that could mean relevant and exacting. It could mean that Ideation helps you communicate with a diverse group of people in a way that speaks to them. This is not the same as Individualization, it is more about looking at the nucleus of that idea. Think about tailoring messages and ideas in the form most easy to absorb. How can you put others at ease, and be able to channel that creativity in a way to properly communicate the message?

Ideation can be playful. You don’t have to search very hard to find something novel with this Theme. Think about the connection between Ideation and hospitality. You can invite others in to this cool creative space with you. This can be a phenomenal gift that you can give to them. Make sure you do this out loud though, or it can come off as somewhat exclusive. Learn how and when to lead others into your ideas. It is not always going to be necessary or possible, but there are times when you need to build trust and bring others into what is going on in your mind. 

Of all 34 Themes, Ideation is the one whose definition is most closely related to creativity. If you have this Theme you are genuinely creating a thought that didn’t exist before. The other side to Ideation is connecting. What is an extension of something that is already familiar? Challenge yourself to use both sides of this Theme. Think about working on how you can be good at both connecting and creating.

A leader with Ideation can build trust by clarifying when you are brainstorming, and when you have committed. This also means clarifying when you are about to ask for a commitment from someone else. Make sure that you close the loop, be crystal clear about when you are going to execute on an idea. A leader could build Stability through connection. How can you help other people be more comfortable with the unknown by filtering it through what they know? You can build compassion by learning others’ stories so that you can connect them to where you are going. Think about helping others see themselves in where they are going. Finally, you can create hope by inviting people into talking about what could be. Create a space where you are not asking for commitment, but just ideating on the numerous possibilities of the future. 

How do you feel about the Ideation theme in a leadership role? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

Early bird pricing for the 2018 CliftonStrengths Summit ends December 7th. Learn more here.

Maureen Monte's Bio Below


Maureen Monte is the founder of Maureen Monte Consulting. Ideation is her #1 Strength, and it has been the source of conflict and collaboration with leaders and colleagues who resist change. Join us as we speak about how to harness Ideation productively, including responding well in environments where innovation is unwelcome.

In 2006, Maureen Monte was exposed to the Clifton StrengthsFinder in the Master of Science program in Leadership at Duquesne University. Monte has been building winning teams with it ever since. Her clients include multiple Fortune 50, 100, and 200 companies, universities, and several championship sports teams. Over 98% of her clients agree that her workshops are valuable and improve team performance. Monte documented her process for helping individuals and teams reach their full potential in the 2016 book called Destination Unstoppable: The Journey of No Teammate Left Behind


Maureen' s top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Strategic | Learner | Achiever | Individualization.

2 comments :

Allyn Bader Barclay said...

I would love to get a copy of Maureen's book. I checked on Amazon but couldn't find it. Suggestions, please.

Gallup Strengths Center said...

You can find it in the Amazon US store http://amzn.to/2ifk1BS

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