Double Trouble for Innovation: Creativity becomes anarchy

Your personality has valuable, captivating differences. These attract people to you, and help you build relationships.

Yet we all have one fatal flaw.

When you get stressed, or tired, or out of whack, you can become exaggeratedly one-dimensional.

Your advantage becomes a disadvantage.

Rather than being seen in a positive light, you can turn people off, or push them away. I call this a “Double Trouble,” because rather than having a healthy balance, you are “doubling up” on one trait.

This causes big problems at work, and at home, often without our realizing it. It’s our personality danger zone.

The good news is, there are patterns behind our pitfalls, and once you know what they are, you can avoid turning people off. Once you know your personality’s danger zones, you can avoid those pitfalls.

Your personality normally uses two dominant qualities: Your Primary and Secondary Advantages. These two Advantages balance each other and help your Archetype communicate within a healthy range.

Your Primary Advantage + Your Secondary Advantage = Your Archetype

However, what happens when you get stressed, overwhelmed, or fearful?

Innovation personalities are creative. They enjoy experimenting. They try new procedures, reimagine products, and envision new business models. Because they communicate with creativity, they can be valuable assets in any organization that seeks to improve and innovate.

When questioning everything creates chaos

People in Anarchy mode don’t like routine.

  • You may challenge everyone to shelve proven methods and experiment with new ways of working.
  • You may ignore the potential disruption that innovation can bring to an organization.
  • You don’t understand why others may be resisting change.
  • You see new opportunities everywhere and forget that company performance can be improved by fine-tuning what already exists and by serving current customers better.
  • You can jump from idea to idea, sometimes without ever finishing a project.

Too much Innovation leads to unnecessary risk-taking. Ideas can become wildly successful, but they can lead to catastrophic failures, too.

Example of Innovation turned to Anarchy

Marcella develops fantastically brilliant creative ideas.

Yet sometimes, her creative thinking becomes a little too creative. She has trouble staying on track. Her Innovation Advantage becomes a disadvantage, leaving a startling whirlwind of chaos and confusion all around her. She exhausts her friends because she starts a parade of projects without actually finishing any of them. In this mode, she flip-flops, jumps from one thing to the next with what seems like accelerated ADD.

Marcella speaks Innovation, the language of creativity. Yet in Double Trouble mode, she only speaks the language of chaos. She becomes volatile and startling.

With some practical thinking, Marcella thinks ahead and works within a productive structure.

Redirecting Innovation gone awry

When you’re stressed or anxious and find yourself communicating just one way, it’s good to remember your Secondary Advantage to balance your messages:

If your Secondary Advantage is Passion, use that Advantage to build warm connections with the team.
Use your positive energy to gain buy-in for your ideas.

If your Secondary Advantage is Trust, use it to improve consistency.
Your creative idea generation makes it difficult for others to keep up. Slow down a little and focus on your most important ideas.

If your Secondary Advantage is Mystique, use that Advantage to tame your irreverence.
You don’t always have to take center stage. Stand back occasionally and observe how others react.

If your Secondary Advantage is Prestige, use that to select your best ideas and to carefully plan their implementation.
Consider the probability of success and the expected quality of results when evaluating a possible project.

If your Secondary Advantage is Power, use that Advantage to explain how your plans can contribute to the company’s overall goals.
Be direct and decisive when sharing your vision.

If your Secondary Advantage is Alert, use it to take calculated risks.
Weigh the negative as well as the positive consequences of new opportunities.

Do you feel yourself slipping into the Anarchy when you feel stressed or overwhelmed?

What Advantage do you use to balance it out?

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About the author

Sally Hogshead

Sally skyrocketed to the top of the advertising world in her early 20s, fascinating millions of consumers for clients such as MINI Cooper and Coca-Cola. Since then, she’s published two New York Times bestsellers on the science of fascination, and is one of only 172 living members in the Speaker Hall of Fame. Over a million professionals have taken the Fascination Advantage® personality test to discover how others perceive their communication.

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