The 3 key roles in any innovative team

In my experience working with creative or innovative groups or teams there are 3 key roles.

Each is important.

The 3 roles are — a creator, enhancer and judger.

One without the other will mean smaller ideas or plenty of blue-sky ideas without any grounded feedback.

The first scenario will lead to ‘me-too’ changes and little value.

The second situation can lead to wasted potential creativity.

Here is an explanation of each role.

The creator

As the name implies this is the person (or persons) who creates the initial idea or solution.

It might be in response to a problem and/or simply someone who believes they have invented a better way.

It might come from the most unexpected of people, places and times.

This role can be a lonely one as many people often want to tear down or reject the new.

It can also be glamorous and exciting as in an advertising agency for example.

The enhancer

The main function of this role is to take the initial idea or solution and make it better.

They often play a kind of sounding-board role where ideas are bounced off one another.

This role requires a special kind of trust between the creator or originator and the enhancer.

The originator needs the enhancer to firstly listed to the intended idea and then to make a genuine attempt to transform the idea into a workable concept.

The judger

This is a popular role among many leaders.

In fact, it is the only role they tend to play!

The main goal of this role is to provide some real yet constructive feedback of the idea.

This could also be called the devil’s advocate role.

The role highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the idea or any potential barriers.

This is invaluable feedback if the idea or solution has any chance to move forward.

Remember it’s the role not the person

The important point to remember is that these are roles not people.

One day you might be the creator and the next day the enhancer of someone else’s idea.

Perhaps later that day you could play the role of judger.

Thinking about roles not people means that everyone can contribute to the innovation process.

It also means that all roles are celebrated as equally important.

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