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Called to Coach
Ideation®: How to Feel More Energized at Work
Called to Coach

Ideation®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

  • What do people with Ideation bring to their roles and workplaces?
  • How can you bring energy and motivation to work as you apply your Ideation talent?
  • How can managers with Ideation create more of an energized, thriving culture on their teams?

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


Productive employees want energy, motivation and drive to characterize their work life. Managers want their teams to possess these in abundance. And organizations envision an entire engaged, thriving workforce that overflows with these qualities. How can individuals high in Ideation® bring energy and motivation to their workplaces? And how can managers high in Ideation foster a work environment that is energized, motivated and thriving? Join Gallup's Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson and discover how, using your Ideation theme, you can bring new energy and motivation to your role, your managing, your coaching.


After the think time, there has to be the action and ... a support system too ... to make sure that you're getting that work done.

Jaclynn Robinson, 2:25

Seek out those opportunities to come together and brainstorm on, firstly, a quick fix for the short term, and then a new and improved solution for the long term.

Jaclynn Robinson, 10:54

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on February 2, 2024.

Jim Collison 0:22
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at how to feel more energized and motivated at work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Ideation. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in chat. If you're listening after the fact, you can always send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant -- and probably the best one we have -- and joined me for Season 1 and 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work, the book, and the CliftonStrengths role-based reports one theme at a time, Jaclynn, always great to be with you. It's my favorite part of Friday. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:55
I know! Mine too. Happy Friday!

Ideation: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 0:58
We are looking at and talking about this season of bringing energy to work. By the way, this podcast has been, these recordings that we're doing -- I know most people are listening to this as podcast -- they bring me energy every week. So thank you for, for doing that for me. But today, we're talking about Ideation. And let's start with the individual first. What are some ways an individual with Ideation can feel more energized by focusing on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:23
Building out that think time. There's nothing like the think time to ideate! So more specifically, consider what ideas you have to carry out that can support you with the expectations and priorities that are expected of you in the workplace. So that think time can help you just go, Ooh, how do I want to do this? What could be a new way or a more innovative way, potentially, of doing this? And then another thing that I would add is, What's worked for you in the past to help you stick to your plan of action? Those ideas might just be flourishing. But where do you drill down? What, what's helped ground you in the past? I know some people with Ideation high will use Post-It Notes as they're thinking about their responsibilities or their ideas and to-dos, and then they can always be arranged. Some might write in a journal. Some prefer a visual aid of the ideas and the expectations and how those are going to map together. So I would add that to the back end, because after the think time, there has to be the, the action and what has been a support system too in the past to make sure that you're getting that work done.

Jim Collison 2:33
And I do think the physical act of ideating can bring energy and motivation all by itself, without it necessarily having to lead to a successful conclusion. Now, we'd like them to, right -- we'd like them to. And I think that's the process of that. But, but I know I have found, for me, sometimes it gives me more -- ideating brings (this is not for everybody) ideating brings more energy than it takes away. And I get, I get done with one of those sessions, and I'm like, Man, I'm ready to go. Let's go do some stuff! Right? or

Jaclynn Robinson 3:08
Fired up!

Jim Collison 3:09
Let's get some stuff done. Yeah, yeah, and so it can, from a basic needs standpoint, it can be just the act of doing it sometimes -- giving myself the opportunity to do it, regardless of the outcome. Now, CliftonStrengths is a framework that we point towards success. And so we want to continue to point that to successful outcomes. But one of those successful outcomes may just be energizing you by doing what you're best at and giving you a way. I love, I want to, I want to spend a minute, though -- you talked about Post-It Notes, this idea of then maybe using something else to harvest -- I don't know if that's the right word, but -- to harvest the best, or to give it, I want to do this, I have high Communication®. So I want to talk about my ideas with others. What else, let's give a few more -- what have you seen work? For me, if I want to do that, I want to talk through it. What else have you seen work, I think, in the past with Ideation?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:04
I've seen whiteboarding, the whiteboarding sessions. And that's, we'll get into manager-to-team, but let's just throw ideas up there on a board, or someone with Ideation's putting their ideas on a board. And I think you brought up two great points: Ideating itself and having that think time is energizing and is enough and is productive and motivating. And then when you couple that with, I have to have key, I have a deadline coming up, or I have key responsibilities or priorities that need to be carried out. That Ideation phase is still going to be probably very pertinent to you. But then when we're thinking about the tactical piece, this is where it might be the whiteboard, having that thought partnership, like you mentioned, Jim, with Communication, Post-It Notes. So that now, you, the energy is there, but it's just, How do I want to roll this out? And it looks different for everybody, based on those other themes that surround it.

Jim Collison 5:01
Ideate around your Ideation. This is one of those kinds of things, right -- How can I make it the most productive?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:07
Funny but true!

Jim Collison 5:08
Yeah, right on, right on, and you should be really good at this if you have high, high Ideation of thinking through. I've even taken a moment to say, I don't have time to properly think through it now; I'm going to, I'm going to be driving (I actually did this yesterday; I drove to Lincoln yesterday, it's an hour drive) -- I'm going to save that for that drive. And when I get in the car, I'm gonna get in a spot, and then I'm going to turn on the Ideation and start thinking through. And for me, it was actually, I was teaching an hour seminar class down there. And so I was that I'm gonna run through that, I'm gonna run through simulations of that class. I'm gonna run through several of them. I'm going to start here, and then I'm going to run a simulation now. Now I'm gonna start here, and I'm gonna run a simulation. And it just gave me some things to think about when I got there. It didn't happen like anything like I thought it would. But it was still a great exercise. Yeah, it was still a great exercise to run through. So someone, for an individual with high Ideation, how can they feel more energized by focusing on their individual strengths and development?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:13
We've talked about it, but carving out that time and space each day, if possible, at the time you feel most creative. And I know, you know, researchwise, they say, generally, the mornings is the most creative time for individuals. But having that special time of day where you feel most creative, that can be a great place to start dreaming up new ways of completing your work or maybe innovative solutions and possibilities for a customer you have or a solution for the team -- you know, just colleague to colleague. As an example, I had someone on my team that came up with an -- he has Ideation high -- he came up with an Excel sheet, and he put this whole template together that would simplify our lives. So that special time of day, that's gonna give you the mental boost needed to then carry out the rest of the day's work. And you actually teased that out earlier, Jim, just saying, "I get more motivated just by having those ideas." That's it. It's that think time. But when is it right for you? When is it best? You know.

Jim Collison 7:15
I love that. I love being intentional and the, having the self-awareness to say, I am most productive with my Ideation here -- whatever that is. Doesn't need to be, not everybody's morning; not everybody's evening. Not -- might be right before bed; it might be, but knowing, like, Hey, what situations can I put myself in where I can take advantage of this or use this in a way that's productive for me? When is that best? Right? Well, how does that work for? -- I love that. I love that awareness. As we think about, sometimes Ideation tends to be a me theme. In other words, we think about it in the context of me ideating. When we think about it in the context of we ideating Ideation, what does an individual with Ideation, How can they feel more energized by building partnerships, finding purpose in their role? We're gonna talk about the manager here in a second. But when you think about those partnerships and the we, talk a little bit about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:15
Someone high in Ideation, you know, people just kind of gravitate towards you. They want that new and fresh and creative perspective on issues. Think about when colleagues are seeking your creative brain the most, your ideas the most. Pay attention, then, to those times when they are coming to you for ideas, when you're most thrilled, you're most jazzed up and excited, and you leave a conversation just feeling highly energized and, you know, purpose-driven. Like, Oh, I just contributed something special. And then the next time you talk to your manager, maybe you can discuss those opportunities related to those idea-generating sessions. Maybe there's other opportunities for you to kind of plug and play. If it's related to a specific topic, you might now become that informal or formal subject-matter expert that can be the idea generator. So it might actually help tease out a little bit of your development as well, when you're thinking about where you get the most energy from your ideas.

Jim Collison 9:17
Your, your thoughts make me think of this idea bank idea of, like, as I'm working with individuals, and I'm getting their thoughts, their input, their, their ideas, I'm gonna build a bank. And so we may not use these today. This may be a situation where we've had these ideas, I'm writing them down, capturing them, writing them in a podcast or saying them in a podcast, and building this bank of ideas that I may not use today, but I'll come back, I'll come back to at some point. And say, you know, I was thinking through this --

Ideation: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 9:54
I was having this conversation with Vint Cerf. I had the privilege of meeting Vint and actually spending time with him. He was one of the inventors of the internet and is a good friend of Gallup. And, and I loved to pick his brain. He, you know, we, he and I talked a little bit about cryptocurrency back in the day, and he gave me his thoughts. And I got to ideate, and he told me some things. I just go back to that conversation all the time, to help me just think through something. So even in a bank, they're never wasted. I think sometimes we think if we don't use them today, they're wasted. No, they're still good ideas. Or they might be; they might be terrible, but they might still be good. And maybe a bank is appropriate. Let's talk about the manager. How can a manager with Ideation support others and their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:44
Well, as a manager, if you notice a resource need is missing for the team, What ideas do you have for a workaround solution? What ideas does your team have? So seek out those opportunities to come together and brainstorm on, firstly, a quick fix for the short, for the short term, and then a new and improved solution for the long term. No resources, no worky. We're just getting done.

Jim Collison 11:12
It's like we have a question about that in our engagement survey. Interesting how that works together. How can a manager with Ideation help others feel -- I'm interested; I'm gonna listen carefully on this -- How can a manager with Ideation help others feel seen, heard and valued as an individual?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:31
When someone is on the team, and they have a goal or a challenge, or maybe they're seeking a new outcome, you really help them feel seen, heard and valued when you have this theme high by working with them to come up with new ideas or solutions. So you could even take it an extra step and ask the person, "What ideas or solutions do you already have in mind?" Before you dive in with your own, for a couple of reasons. Because that's going to empower them and generate a lot of excitement for the both of you. For them, because they've come up with the idea, and they're like, Oh, OK! I've had someone that was listening to me, they supported me and let me kind of think it out. And then you'll likely light up, because you're seeing their own light bulbs go off. So that could be a way to, before taking it into the me and sharing your own ideas, kind of lending your, your ideas out there to say, No, but what do you have? What ideas do you have? I'm listening. I'm here for you.

Jim Collison 12:27
It's like you wrote that with me in mind! Because, like, I want to just share ideas. I should, I should ask, "What have you thought about?" Right? What a great question for someone high with Ideation, when we think about others, or managers thinking about others. The we side of this, to just insert that one, Well, what have you already thought about? Like, give me some things you're thinking about, and leading out with that. I think that leads to the next question of, How can a manager with Ideation build trust, inspire and deepen team collaboration and community? Some more thoughts on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:05
Yeah, there may be times when you see connections in the work that the team is doing that they don't yet see. So consider sharing out how their work is creating inspiration and hope to either internal or external customers, depending on what your team does. And then, using your imagination, maybe there's even a fun platform or a team retreat or a way you can think up to share that information, to share those connections. So not only are they gaining a deeper understanding of, you know, what is, but they're having fun while doing it.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:39
And just as an example of what this has looked like, I teased out, I was working with a manager high in Ideation before that whiteboarded. He and his team were in the middle of a busy season. He wanted to keep their morale high. So he used a whiteboard and said, "Let's talk through our team wins together." And they wrote down everything that they had accomplished in the past 4 weeks. And they filled up the entire whiteboard, he said. He had a creative name for it, which I can't remember, for this whole idea-generating meeting, but that really boosted their morale for the next 4 to 6 weeks of work they had, and they realized how far they've come and the impact that they're creating. Creative way, instead of just sitting around a table and saying, "Hey, this is what is," those with Ideation, you all tend to have a really creative mind for how you can make it fun while you're sharing out.

Jim Collison 14:35
Let's wrap it with this final question: How can a manager with Ideation support the growth of each team member?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:42
Maybe asking how you can support or share ideas and pathways for how they can develop in the company through their current role or other opportunities that, that might exist. So what do they want to do? Where do they need your support? You can make those connections for them, in terms of how they can maybe take the role they're in and take it to the next level or maybe even move laterally into a different department.

Jim Collison 15:10
Yeah, and I also, I also think, as you're saying that, it makes me think of, of using it to help the team help itself as a team. In other words, let me, let's bounce, let's, let's start -- much like we use, sometimes we use high Woo® and Communication in group settings to get, like we used to do these table events where you'd have 10 around a table. We'd strategically place Woo and Communication at each table, to make sure the discussion got going. Somebody said something at some point, but using that Ideation, maybe strategically, in team settings to think about, intentionally, growth in those teams, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 15:49
I like that!

Jim Collison 15:50
Those conversations, those ideas for growth -- How, as a team, can we grow? Then allowing that conversation to exist. And I think also stating, managers, at the beginning, We may not -- giving permission to the group, we may not do all ideas. Let's just be really clear here. We're going to spit out a bunch of ideas. I think those in, high in Ideation are used to having their ideas thought about and ignored, or not done. Because you're OK; you're gonna give them more ideas than they could ever achieve. That's not true for everybody, by the way. There are some who've thought through this, who will say it, and if they, they say it, they think it should be done. And that's not always true, either. Right? So managers, if you're going to do something like this, I think setting the stage to say, Hey, we're just, this is just some open-concept stuff. This may or may not, there may be things that never come from this. We're building an idea bank. Let's put them in the bank, and we may or may not use them. I don't know, any final thoughts as we wrap this up?

Jaclynn Robinson 16:51
No, I think that's, that's great what you just said -- to preface those conversations. So if you have a lot of people that want to Execute too, they're not going to feel responsible or guilty if it's not carried out. It's like, this is just conceptual right now. If you have Activators®, they're not going to go get started. But prefacing the conversation, maybe that's the most pertinent piece we leave people with. But no, this is such an inspiring and creative theme. And across all 34 themes, we see this as one that just has a lot of that creativity, and it brings a lot of energy in people, even just being within your vicinity, because of the ideas that you have and the creative mind that you have, whether it's visual or more verbal in nature. Yeah, I love this theme!

Jim Collison 17:41
Love it. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available inside of Gallup Access. Check it out: If you're high in Ideation, and you need some ideas, just click on the Search button, put in this theme, all the resources we've done -- maybe not all -- many of the resources we've done are available to you there. For coaching, master coaching, to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, send us an email. We do that; we can help you with that: If you want to join us for the Gallup at Work 2024, and for those joining us in 2024, Jaclynn and I get to host the virtual part of that together, which will be super awesome. We'll be, be there to get you in between the gaps, and that'll be a ton of fun. You can register today: Stay up to date with -- by the way, we'd love to see you in person, but if virtual is the only way that you can do it, you'll join us for that, and we'd love to see you there. Stay up to date with all the future webcasts on our Facebook groups or even on LinkedIn. You can join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths." And if you enjoyed it, share it. We'd love to have you share this opportunity with others. And we appreciate you doing that. Hit the Like and Subscribe buttons, and thanks for listening today. If you are listening live, stay around for a little bit of the postshow. 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:

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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