The world is full of people who think and create in different ways. That’s why sometimes the advice you get from your mom or your teacher or your best friend frustrates you. Especially when you’re stuck, you need to play to your strengths. Understanding your style will help you to sort out the ideas, activities, and strategies that are most likely to help you move forward.
Today, let’s meet the Inventor.
If ideas rattle and clatter around in your mind constantly, chances are, you think like an Inventor. Seeing the big picture is important to the Inventor, and an Inventor’s creative process is full of color, laughter and play.
An Inventor’s Strengths:
- New ideas come easily.
- Challenges are an opportunity to play and experiment.
- Almost as soon as an idea arrives, an Inventor sees the big-picture vision.
An Inventor’s Weaknesses:
- Details can bog an Inventor down.
- New ideas can lead an Inventor to start too many projects at once.
- When a project isn’t fun, an Inventor can lose heart.
Here are some playful strategies that tend to work well for Inventors.
At the Start of a Project:
- Play What if…?
- Brainstorm the Opposite
As an Inventor, you have a strong capacity for seeing possibilities. Explore the opposite of your idea to see what new perspective this upside-down look at your project brings.
- Try a Sprint
- Try Three
Instead of forcing yourself to create perfection on the first pass, create three loose options and then further develop the one that works best.
- Storyboard with Index Cards
- Improvise through Possibilities
Use improvisation to drill down to the specifics. Keep a playful spirit, and try out options aloud to keep your momentum high as you build one decision upon the next.
When You Feel Stuck:
- Create a Collage
- Fill Up Your Creative Tank
Ideas need fuel. If you feel stuck, wander around a museum, a park or a farmer’s market. Places with interesting sounds, smells, tastes, textures and shapes are particularly useful for stocking up your creative tank.
Try On Other Styles:
Don’t get too comfortable! That’s how creative ruts happen. You’ll want to also try on other creative styles every once in a while to shake things up.
An Inventor is similar to a Special Agent in that they both see the big picture. However, the Special Agent is more focused and streamlined. If you feel distracted by a plethora of ideas, try on the Special Agent’s hat. Visualize the next part of the project fully before starting, mentally exploring options until you feel sure about your direction. Then, use the sprint strategy to take the next step forward.
Like Inventors, Collaborators are playful. Collaborators also tend to be detail oriented in order to work with others. In addition, Collaborators are more others-focused. When you need to get into the details and are feeling overwhelmed, try working with a partner or a team. Break the project into pieces together and commit to deadlines and a workflow that helps move the project from messy to complete.
The Architect has a structured attention to detail, a thinking style that is the Inventor’s opposite. However, even Inventors can benefit from making a list or two. Try playfully putting on the Architect’s hat when you’re feeling the need for some serious structure. Make an icon-filled, colorful list that helps you see the path from overwhelmed to back-on-track.
So what do you think?
Are you an Inventor? If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to take our creative styles quiz to learn more about the way you think. We’ll also send you an Inklings Starter Kit with more strategies and ideas to help you play to your unique strengths.