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Called to Coach
Ideation®: Developing Your Leadership Skills
Called to Coach

Ideation®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Ideation
  • What is the power of Ideation in a leadership role?
  • How could Ideation help or hinder you in leading others?

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.


Explore Gallup's CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report and discover its ability to help you maximize the impact of your -- and others' -- unique leadership talents and strengths, in this Season 2 episode of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. Join Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson as they discuss the Ideation® theme, its power in a leadership role, how it can help or hinder you as you lead others, and how you can leverage it with the CliftonStrengths for Managers and CliftonStrengths for Sales Reports. Unlock the leadership potential of your Ideation talent -- because everyone leads something.


This leader, they can energize and inspire teams companywide. They can encourage them to break out of that stagnant thinking and really tap into those creative juices.

Jaclynn Robinson, 3:17

A leader with Ideation can support internal customers ... or external customers, in architecting a solution that fits their needs.

Jaclynn Robinson, 8:25

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on December 20, 2022.

Jim Collison 0:20
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Ideation. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room, or you can send us questions after the fact. Send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and has joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work for each of the themes. And Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:48
Thank you, sir.

Introducing Ideation

Jim Collison 0:49
We are spending some time looking at Ideation. Why don't we get started with, with the definition of that?

Jaclynn Robinson 0:57
Sure. So somebody that has Ideation is fascinated by ideas. And they're quite able and capable to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

What Is the Power of Ideation in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:07
We're looking at this through the lens of our new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report. And so what's the power of this theme, you think, in a leadership role?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:16
You know, the way I see it is, you know, as someone who thrives when it comes to brainstorming, this leader can spark new ideas with others, while also empowering them to generate new ways of thinking. So I think they really embrace that, that idea of, Let's bring forth different perspectives, different minds, different ideas. Throw them all on the table, and see what works.

Jim Collison 1:37
I have Ideation [No.] 7. And I think one of the things we miss on is that, not always, but in some cases, those with high in Ideation don't mind giving ideas that don't get used. This may be where it'd be different than a Strategic or even, you know, in an Analytical, where I can throw out -- and this is for me -- I can throw out a ton of ideas, you know, for you -- give you 10. If you don't use them, it's OK. They were still ideas. And so I think that power in the leadership role is sometimes maybe getting teams unstuck or sometimes getting people unstuck in giving out suggestions or ideas that may or may not need to be followed up with, right. Which gives -- right, because sometimes that is, you feel like, Oh, they, because the person, "Well, I told you it could have been --" and that kind of can create a rift. So those high in Ideation, if that works for you -- again, it works for me -- I don't necessarily care if you use it or not. I just want to give you, I just want to give you some ideas on how to get unstuck. Any other thoughts on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:42
I've noticed that with those that lead with this high is there's so much energy in just being able to share ideas, whether someone takes it and runs with it is another thing, but just that opportunity to share out ideas or to ideate with somebody else is what seems to, to create so much joy and energy.

How Can Those With Ideation Lead Others?

Jim Collison 3:01
Yeah, no, I just, I love going through the process of doing it. Right. OK, so that may be in the context of both being in a leader, in a leader role or in, just in a team session. How do you think -- how could this theme lead others?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:16
Well, this, this leader, they can energize and inspire teams companywide. They can encourage them to break out of that stagnant thinking and really tap into those creative juices. And I think that helps, that helps any employee or team in the organization to overcome obstacles or think differently about a customer need or a product offering. Which kind of automatically just made me think of Steve Jobs, but pushing people -- let's, let's think about what's something new that we can create. So I think people never have that sense of feeling stagnant or stuck, because that leader is saying, What else can we do? Let's break through and let's innovate. Let's create.

Jim Collison 3:55
Yeah, this may blend in with the next question, which is hinder. But before we get to that, kind of thinking through, What do you think the team needs to know about a leader who is leading with Ideation? What do you think's important from a team perspective that they understand about their leader?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:13
First and foremost, are we just talking about ideas, or should we act on these ideas? I think getting that clarity right off the bat can be very helpful.

How Could Ideation Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 4:22
Yeah. Oh, I love that. I had a, I had a manager years ago, 30 years ago now, who would come up, he'd come to, you know, a teammate and I sat across from each other in cubes, and he'd just come in, Hey, we should, you know, fill in the blank. Do this, do that, this, but we knew, we, it took us a while to figure it out, but he, we just knew he was ideating, to be honest -- more ideas than we could ever possibly actually implement. And so understanding that, we kind of came up with a rule, like, and he's got to ask for it a couple of times before we actually start moving on it. Don't, don't tell him I -- that's what we said. But knowing that -- as a team member, knowing that from a while, and then eventually having a conversation, just to say, Hey, look, we need some clarity. Does this need to be done? Are we just having fun? Are we just haven't fun thinking about things? How can this, so let's, let's use that to get into this idea -- how can this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:24
It can create instability. And if we're thinking about a leader, and the leader having a senior team, if there's too much Ideation and not enough action in or direction, they can be really confused by their priorities or feel like they're juggling way too many ideas. And then that can have a cascade effect on the organization overall, as everyone starts to question, What are we doing? What, what should we be focusing on?

Jim Collison 5:47
Yeah, and I love that -- I do think that, that awareness that this is something -- these are my clear thoughts; these are my unclear thoughts, right, of thinking through that, right? Hey, I've got some clarity around this; this is not just ideating. And then, Hey, like, I don't have any clarity. Let's think through this, right -- of having that dialogue with, with the team to know for sure, Hey, do we need to do something about this? Or we're just kind of spinning, kind of thinking around that. Would you, would you add anything else to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:22
That's a, that's, so that's a good point. And that brings me up to the performance piece of it. So if a leader with Ideation is not spending enough time creating that clarity on the details of what's involved and the business strategy, whether it's milestones or deadlines or action items, then, you know, that's hard for the leader. And that's hard for the leader to take back and share out with the team, to make sure they know what their performance metrics are -- their, their milestones or actions.

Jim Collison 6:48
Well, and maybe the awareness of others in the team where those themes may, may come into conflict, if they're not spelled out in a way of like, Hey, hey, guys, this is really just an Ideation session. So feel free, feel free not to take ownership (those high Responsibility) or, or thinking it through (those with high Deliberative), right, thinking through the, spending this capital, this thinking capital. And then, like, Oh, you weren't even serious? You know, that could, that could burn, that could burn the team or burn the leader or burn the individual, right, on that. So I think some clarity, this is one of those themes where clarity in the action is super important. What are we trying to achieve? And maybe they're all this way, just to be honest. But what are we trying to achieve with this theme with it?

Jim Collison 7:39
Couple of reminders on the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report, this -- these two sections, what, success and hinders -- leads into an Action Items section. And so you can go through this same process that we just did. That report is available for you: CliftonStrengths for Leaders, and a new report here, we just launched a couple -- just a month, seems like 6 months ago. But, well, and for some of you listening, it was 6 months ago. So --

Jaclynn Robinson 8:04
2022 is warp speed.

How Can You Use Ideation as You Lead, Together With the Managers and Sales Reports?

Jim Collison 8:05
So that will work. We have two other reports that you and I want to spend the season thinking about how do we do report dynamics? In other words, if we take the reports and use them together. So as a leader, How would we use maybe CliftonStrengths for Leaders and the Sales Report together?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:24
Yeah, so a leader with Ideation can support internal customers. And when I think "internal customers," I'm thinking of their own team or a cross-functional team. Or external customers, in architecting a solution that fits their needs. And I say that because they can come up with good, better and best options for or with other people that allows them to take that creative thought process and build it into something really large or beautiful that has impact. So sometimes they're working -- we've got a lot of folks working with cross-functional teams as an example. Maybe they're stuck in a rut. Well, that leader can support them, help come up with some good, better, best options that are effective for them and his or her or their immediate team. But then when we think about that true sales aspect of being a support system for external customers, how great is that, that they have these beautiful ideas and can come up with good, better, best options for that prospect or external client on ways that they can provide solutions to them? So a couple of different ways that they can really influence, as a leader with Ideation.

Jim Collison 9:32
I love the way that I, that Ideation cycle could happen quickly in a sales cycle to try different techniques, test it, measure it, come back and say, OK, did that work? Did that -- were we able to generate a lead, or were we able to close the sale? Were we able to move a product or influence someone in some way? And it seems like that sales cycle is one of those, you know, certainly on a, on a manufacturing floor, or even in software development, it's harder to it's, it's harder to, to ideate that quickly and then test it in the field and then, you know, bring back some results. In sales, that may be something that can happen very fast. I mean, you might think, Hey, for this week, we're going to try it this way. And then on Friday, we're going to come back around -- Did anything work? Like, did anything that we do work? So that could be super cool. When we, when we think about that -- and I'm super excited about having both of these reports -- when we think about the Leader and the Manager Report together, think about using them together, what kind of success could we see with that?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:34
Yeah, so as an individual that appreciates different perspectives, this person can create a warm and welcome environment for others to share their ideas when they see and verbalize the need for change. So I always think about that saying, "If you see something, say something," And someone with Ideation might hear with this person has to say, and then go right back to them and say, "What ideas do you have? What do you think we might be able to do that could, you know, create this change?" And now their opinions feel seen, heard and valued; they're making their opinions count. So I think they really create that environment for flexibility and change, which people appreciate.

Jim Collison 11:11
You think about that leadership aspect -- and again, not universal -- but that leadership aspect of looking forward and that manager aspect of managing to today. We can't go back and influence tomorrow, so we don't think about that; it's gone. Right? So looking to the future, looking to today. And then what kind of ideas can we use that can be both today and have that future-looking, hey, if we change this now, it could have this future impact. Or if we change this now, it could be more efficient. Or if we change this now, it could be more profitable. If we change this now, it can be -- fill in the blank, right. But of both operational and looking to the to the future with the Leader Report, I think there's a lot packed into, packed -- now that makes me want to go back and look at the Manager and the Leader Report for Ideation. It's in my Top 10. And so, yeah, that'd be fun. It's one of my favorite themes to do. It relaxes me, it relax, this is really weird. I like, if I can just generate ideas, I'll eventually just take a nap. Like it's so relaxed; others are fine. Jaclynn, any final thoughts on Ideation as we wrap it up?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:17
It just reminds me of What are those themes that can be so playful at the same time? Because they're, they're great at coming up with ideas. They're great with creativity. And we're getting to a stage now just in life where adults are going back to child's play. You know, you play with Play-Doh®; you share out ideas. And that's a way that just helps people feel, to your point, calm and relaxed. So I think there's a lot that Ideation can bring to the table to help everyone feel calm and relaxed, and to really just get in touch with that, that inner child to come up with new ideas and brainstorm and feel that level of excitement and energy that we used to have as kiddos.

Jim Collison 12:53
Yeah, I love it. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access -- this and plenty more. In fact, if you go to the Resources section on Gallup Access and just search "Ideation," we have a ton of resources for you available right now and today. Visit Log in and hit the menu upper left; choose Resources, and love to have you do that. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us at Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for listening today. If you enjoy it, share it. Right? Hit the Subscribe button, so you never miss an episode. Thanks for listening. If you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of midshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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