The Face of a Great Team

Posted by on Jan 28, 2011 in Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations, Organizational Leadership

The second semester of the year has gotten underway at Canisius College MS and Communication and Leadership program. I am continuing my studies in the Not-for- Profit arena by taking a seminar course with Neil Melbrod, a veteran of the profession.

Due to the recession, all companies are looking to creatively reach their target audience and approach marketing with innovation; however, innovation isn’t easy as it sounds. If it was, then every company would be as revered as Starbucks, IBM and Ford. These companies do have one thing in common: Annette Moser-Wellman.

Moser-Wellman states that innovation is rooted in ideas. Every person approaches innovation from one of five vantage points. They include:

The Seer: The power to image.
The Observer: The power to notice detail.
The Alchemist: The power to connect domains.
The Fool: The power to celebrate weakness or seeing sense in absurdity.
The Sage: The power to simplify.

These “Five Faces of Genius” allow for individuals to understand the strength and weakness in the way they think. You can then better understand the ways the co-workers generate ideas as well. By diversifying the Faces of a team, productivity and innovation can grow. That is, if you must have a team.

Contrary to the popular idea that brainstorming results in the best solutions, Moser-Wellman disagrees. “We need to master our own imagination first, learn how it works, and then master its use in teams. Then we can ask ‘what is the role of teams?’ and how can we make ideas come to life in groups.” Once we can take advantage of being aware of our own thought processes, as well as the cognitive processes of others, they can serve as a tool for innovation rather than a hindrance.

The success of this type of thinking is not limited to the Fortune 1000 companies listed above. NPOs can engage employees by using this method of thinking. Individuals and teams can be brought together in the same manner for local and national non-profits who need to market their cause and generate revenue much in the same way as a for-profit agency. How have you put your face to good use?

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