Meet a gallery of creative personas who we can imitate, says Julia Wells

The Ten Faces of Innovation deals with how to foster creativity within your team. Written by Tom Kelley, founder of world renowned innovation company IDEO, the book is, in the words of its author, “about the human touch”. It is about the roles people can play in innovation. Individuals need to adopt these personas at different times for different purposes. The 10 faces fall under three headings:

  • Learning personas - described as the anthropologists, experimenters and cross pollinators. They understand the importance of looking outside the organisation, often to other industries.
  • Organising personas - the hurdlers, adept at overcoming obstacles and the collaborator, whose skills bring people together. The director works with creative people and the sum ends up bigger than the individual parts.
  • Building personas - like the experience architect, who “focuses relentlessly on creating remarkable customer experiences”. The care giver sounds like a persona common in the health service, but it is not just about those who have this written in their job description - it is a skill that makes the patient or family feel that nothing is too much trouble in meeting their needs.

All roles contribute to a powerful mix that stimulates creativity and innovation. Tom Kelley is dismissive of “the devil’s advocate”, who often has only criticism and no fresh ideas. He suggests the 10 faces of innovation can combat such people before they have the chance to quash inspiration and ideas.

Julie Wells is an independent consultant,


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