Radical Chi Management
People are different. Through years of experience and growing up, we all become interesting unique human beings. Our mindset is trained to a certain life philosophy and work ethic that bring their own benefits and drawbacks to the work environment.
When I started a job in the industry, I mostly was an implementer. A doer-of-things. I didn’t get to decide what I was doing, just how to best do what others were telling me. I didn’t feel happy with this; seeing possible improvements at every turn but lacking the necessary steadiness to diligently follow instructions. My talents lied elsewhere, I found out. I’m a dreamer. An ideator.
This personality is characterised by creative drives. Ideators often strive to be free of limitations. They come up with interesting solutions, finding interesting new things because their mindset combines different areas of interest to come up with new solutions. These people have butterflies in their heads. Sometimes their ideas are whacky, but often there is at least some hidden gem inside that pile of glass marbles. This type of person is like a firework, while the Focused Person is like a strong light bulb. The firework might impress you, but you can’t read a book with its light. Ideation works at a fast pace, much like a sprinter.
On the other hand, you have focused people. They have a steady supply of energy. They are very stable in their output. Reliable people that you can depend on. They have the calm of mind to minimise mistakes and carry on projects through the long run. Focus is necessary to keep projects going and to sort out the working ideas. Focused people ground your project, so it doesn’t get lost. They are like marathon runners.
Binary? Not really.
Actually we carry both of those mindsets inside of us. We can have focused work days and visionary work days. Some people lean more toward one end, some toward the other. There are many factors that play into this as well. Personality consists of more than one dimension after all (see Big Five for a more elaborate view on the topic). But this abstraction comes in handy for one thing…
Radical Chi Management
Different people are required to successfully complete a project. Not only do you need varying disciplines (example: coding, design, database management, system administration, business, marketing), but also a good mix of the two Chi types.
Get enthused Ideators into the project early on to kick off the project. Get Focused People onto the project to make sure everything turns out fine. Ideators should contribute at key points, for example after the results of a usability test need to be evaluated and redesigns need to be made.
Together we can build the future! Respect both types for what they do best!