The 6 Types of Genius Link to heading
#1 The Genius of Wonder refers to the ability to think deeply and ask questions about the world around us. It involves speculation and curiosity, and the desire to seek answers and take action. Those who possess this genius tend to naturally engage in these activities and find it easy to become absorbed in observing and questioning their surroundings, considering whether things could be different or if there is untapped potential.
#2 The Genius of Invention is all about coming up with new ideas and solutions. With little direction and context, people with this genius are drawn to creativity and ingenuity in the truest sense of the words. Though every type is a genius, these are the people who are most often referred to as “geniuses” because of their thin air ideas.
#3 The Genius of Discernment involves the ability to rely on instincts, intuition, and exceptional judgment. Even without extensive data or expertise, individuals with this genius have a natural aptitude for evaluating ideas and offering valuable insights and feedback on a wide range of topics. This ability typically exceeds their current knowledge or information, and may be based on pattern recognition and gut feelings.
#4 The Genius of Galvanizing involves the ability to inspire, motivate, and persuade others to take action on an idea or initiative. Individuals with this genius are likely to encourage others to become involved and are comfortable persuading people to change their minds in order to make a positive impact.
#5 The Genius of Enablement refers to the ability to provide others with the support and assistance they need in an effective and responsive manner. Individuals with this genius are naturally inclined to help others achieve their goals, and may even anticipate their needs before they are asked. These individuals are often unaware of their own genius and may simply see themselves as helpful and supportive.
#6 The Genius of Tenacity involves the ability to persevere and see projects through to completion. Those with this genius are naturally inclined to ensure that projects are finished according to specification and find satisfaction in pushing through obstacles to achieve results. They may gain energy from seeing the impact of their work and take joy in crossing tasks off their list and achieving closure.
Responsive Vs. Disruptive Geniuses Link to heading
The three responsive geniuses include Wonder, Discernment, and Enablement. Link to heading
Individuals with the Wonder genius observe their environment and generate questions by examining the organization, industry, or world around them. They do not necessarily set out to change their surroundings, but rather observe and allow their observations to guide their thoughts.
Those with the Discernment genius provide feedback, advice, or counsel in response to the ideas or proposals of inventors. They play a crucial role in the innovation process, but do not necessarily initiate it. In addition to innovation, they often respond to and curate whatever the world presents to them.
Individuals with the Enablement genius respond to the stated requests of others, particularly when someone with the Galvanizing genius is seeking support. They are ready to provide what is needed and may even anticipate requests before they are fully specified. However, they generally do not initiate support unless it is requested.
The three disruptive geniuses include Invention, Galvanizing, and Tenacity. Link to heading
Individuals with the Invention genius see problems as opportunities to develop novel solutions that challenge the status quo. They enjoy creating valuable disruptions and adding value to a situation.
Those with the Galvanizing genius are particularly disruptive, as they initiate change by inspiring and organizing others to join a project or program. They recruit and motivate people, which necessarily disrupts their priorities and actions.
Those with the Tenacity genius disrupt by identifying and overcoming obstacles or roadblocks. They are determined to complete a project no matter what stands in their way and are willing to make whatever changes are necessary to achieve success, even if it means disrupting existing processes.
The Six Required Activities For Any Team-Based Work Link to heading
All collective endeavors require each of the six geniuses. If even one is missing, failure and frustration are more likely to occur. Each type of genius provides something that another genius needs, and in turn, receives something from another genius. Let’s examine how each genius fits within the general flow of any type of work endeavor.
Wonder: The first stage of work involves posing big questions, contemplating the possibility of improvement, raising issues, or speculating about the current state of things. “Is there a more effective way to do this?” “Can we become an even better company?” “Do any of you feel like there are problems with our customer service?” “Could we benefit from a break?”
Invention: The next stage involves finding answers to these questions by generating solutions, formulating plans, suggesting new ideas, or developing novel approaches. “I have a suggestion!” “What do you think of this plan?” “What if we approached customer service in this way?” “Let’s take a trip to a nearby location, like Clefs Valley!”
Discernment: The third stage involves evaluating and offering feedback on the ideas produced in the Invention stage. It involves evaluating proposals, providing feedback on solutions, or improving approaches. “I have a strong intuition that this would be a good idea.” “Something about those values doesn’t feel quite right to me.” “I think we should make a few more adjustments to your product idea before it’s ready.” “City Bay has nicer weather at this time of year, if we’re planning to spend time outdoors.”
Galvanizing: Once a plan or solution has been thoroughly evaluated and deemed worthwhile, the next step involves rallying people around it, enlisting their assistance to implement it, or inspiring them to embrace it. “Hey, everyone, listen to her idea!” “Let’s all support these values.” “Who’s ready to help us make the customer service program successful?” “Okay, everyone, clear your schedules because we’re headed to Monterey.”
Enablement: Next, someone must respond to the call to action, make themselves available, and agree to do what is necessary to bring the solution to fruition. “I’m on board to help with that idea.” “I’m in agreement with those values.” “I’d love to help with customer service; let me know when you need me.” “I can drive to Monterey and take six people with me.”
Tenacity: Finally, someone must complete the project, finish the program, and push through obstacles to ensure that the work is done according to specification. “Let’s keep going because this new idea isn’t a reality yet.” “Okay, let’s finish up and finalize the values, so we can submit them to the board for approval before tonight’s deadline.” “Let me take over and finish the customer database.” “I know someone who works at that hotel. I’ll give them a call right now to book a block of rooms and see if we can get a discount.”
Here is a simplified summary of how this works: Wonder identifies the need for change, Invention creates the solution, Discernment evaluates and refines the solution and recommends it for action, Galvanizing rallies people for action, Enablement provides support and human capital, and Tenacity ensures the work is completed and achieves the desired results.
It’s important to keep in mind that work rarely follows a completely logical, linear, and orderly process. It is usually messier than that. What matters most is that, in one way or another, every team project, every group program, every collective endeavor involves these six activities, and they generally occur in this order.
Filling the Gaps Link to heading
There are a few ways a team can address any gaps in representation of the six types of genius. First, it can hire people who possess the missing genius. However, this may not always be possible or practical. Second, a team can borrow someone from within the organization, such as inviting an outsider who has the missing genius to attend important meetings and contribute as needed. Third, the team can identify individuals within the team who have the missing genius in their areas of expertise and rely on them to fill the gap, although this should be a temporary solution as it can lead to burnout and resentment over time.