A few months ago I treated myself to a day of innovation.  I attended the Seattle Future Festival, hosted by Trend Hunter.  If you don’t already know about Trend Hunter, they are the world’s largest, most popular trend community, with a global network of 200,000 contributors and 3,000,000 fans.  Behind the scenes, they leverage big data, human researchers and AI to identify consumer insights and deep dive opportunities for the world’s most innovative companies.

Jamie Neely, Trend Hunter

One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity to meet Jaime Neely, their Chief Culture Officer.  She told me that Trend Hunter has been perfecting an innovation assessment tool that helps individuals and teams understand their innovation archetypes and recommends specific tactics to help them realize their innovation potential faster.

Why is that helpful?

Because the reason companies fail at innovation isn’t necessarily that they don’t have good ideas. (Well, that can be true, too).  But another important reason is that the people and teams tasked with innovation may be unaware of how their personal innovation styles affect each other, for good or evil.

This explains so much.

(Here is where I apologize to anyone in my past who I may have tortured, bludgeoned, or end-run in my quest to get that new product out the door.)

Yes, Virginia, you have an innovation archetype

Here is a quick look at Trend Hunter’s framework.  Each trait represents a trade-off between a Hunter and a Farmer tendency.  The value in this framework, for me, is that it suggests that there are many different innovation “styles.”  And each has its place in a successful innovation culture.

Trend Hunter Innovation Archetype

Sometimes the impediment to innovation is … me.  Whoops.

I wish I had understood what archetype I fell into when I was first starting out in my career.  Had I known I was an Ambitious Visionary, driven by curiosity and willing to destroy the status quo, AND understood that the people who had to approve my proposals were almost certainly NOT that way (and for good reason) it would have saved me – and my upper management – a lot of grief.

Jaime Neely seems to have understood this from the start.  When I reached out to let her know I would be blogging about their assessment, this is what she had to say:

“We launched the assessment to help people better understand the ways they approach creativity and innovation. We like to think that everyone today is an innovator — there are simply different types and styles. It’s been incredible hearing how clients and teams across different industries are using the results to better understand those they work with, and to strategize accordingly when it comes to their innovation goals and objectives.” 

If you want to learn more click here.

I am dying to get under the hood to see how Trend Hunter derived this framework.  Meanwhile I encourage you and your team to take the test for yourselves and see what conversations it sparks.

Let me know!

This post was originally published by the American Marketing Executive Circle.












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