A diverse range of thinking and thinkers. Cross-Pollinators. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

A diverse range of thinking and thinkers. Cross-Pollinators. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Beating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization. by Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman.


Following the official introduction of the book, The Ten Faces of Innovation is offered as a book about innovation with a human face. About the individuals and teams that fuel innovation inside great organizations. The ten core chapters of this book highlight ten people-centric tools developed at IDEO that you might call talents or roles or personas for innovation. Adopting one or more of these roles can help teams express a different point of view and create a broader range of innovative solutions.

Among the “Ten Faces of Innovation” I have chosen one to highlight since I feel somehow identified with it, the “Cross-Pollinator”.

Citing http://www.gjc-consulting.com/blog/?p=1241

The type of people a company needs to strengthen its creativity is the cross-pollinator.

Cross-pollinators are an « essential part of the ecosystem of innovation ». They are good students but good teachers as well and have a childlike ability to see patterns others don’t see and they can apply them in new contexts.

What makes a cross-polinator?

Cross-pollinators can create something new and better through the unexpected juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts. They often innovate by discovering a clever solution in one context or industry then translating it successfully to another.

Cross-pollinators stir-up new ideas by exploring worlds that may at first glance seem to have little relevance to the problem at hand. Actually, this is one of the key-points experimented by participants during « Learning Expeditions ».

How to recognise Cross-pollinators in your company?

  • They often think in metaphors, enabling them to see relationships and connections that others miss. They act as matchmakers, creating unusual combinations, approachs, that often spark innovative hybrids.
  •  They are Multifaceted, known as  »T-shaped » individuals : they enjoy a breadth of knowledge [empathy accross disciplines] in many fields, but they also have depth [deep knowledge] in at least one area of expertise. They defy simple categorization, but don’t let that bother your.
  • They don’t fear scarcity. « Necessity is the mother of invention » : scarcity and tough constraints force you to be innovative. They know how to challenge a team to come up with something on the cheap.
  • They are confident that diverse and interesting projects work can fuel the fire of a culture of innovation. Like linguists : the more languages they master, the easier it becomes to absorb the next one.
  • They are open-minded : they are receptive and know that success can come from the most unlikely of all directions.
  • They are Boomerang staffers »: Independent, they might work for a company for a while, go out and get broad experience elsewhere, ant then come back. Give them a chance to find some fertile soil and you won’t regret it!
  • They tirelessly spreads the seeds of innovation : they have wide interests, voracious curiosity, and an aptitude for learning and teaching.

Mentioning DCulberhouse’s blog (http://dculberh.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/cross-pollinators-and-idea-magnetism/)

We are living in a time when leadership requires not only the ability to connect dots…but to connect dots that are seemingly unrelated.  The leaders who can do this will not only have an advantage…they will set the stage to allow creativity and innovation to grow and flourish within their organizations.

For this to happen, leaders have to broaden their range…to essentially become idea magnets.  Drawing learning from a wide and diverse range of thinking and thinkers.  Or, to become what Tom Kelley refers to in the Ten Faces of Innovation, as “Cross-Pollinators“.

According to Tom Kelley…

Cross-pollinators can create something new and better through the unexpected juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts.  They often innovate by discovering a clever solution in one context or industry, then translating it successfully to another.”

About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Data policy The products processed by "Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD" are made available to the public for educational and/or scientific purposes, without any fee on the condition that you credit "Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD" as the source. Copyright notice: © Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD 2013-2019 orcid: orcid.org/0000-0001-8685-0206 and the link to its source at diegofdezsevilla.wordpress or permanent DOI found at Reearchgate. Profile and verified scientific activity also at: https://publons.com/researcher/3387860/diego-fernandez-sevilla/ Should you write any scientific publication on the results of research activities that use Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD products as input, you shall acknowledge the Diego Fdez-Sevilla's PhD Project in the text of the publication and provide an electronic copy of the publication (d.fdezsevilla@gmail.com). If you wish to use the Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD products in advertising or in any commercial promotion, you shall acknowledge the Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD Project and you must submit the layout to Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD for approval beforehand (d.fdezsevilla@gmail.com). The work here presented has no economic or institutional support. Please consider to make a donation to support the means for making sustainable the energy, time and resources required. Also any sponsorship or mentoring interested would be welcome. Intellectual Property This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! For those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com. **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2019, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects, don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access and DOIs found at the Framework and Timeline page and ResearchGate. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2018. Filling in or/and Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/ ***
This entry was posted in Cultural Cognition, Opinion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A diverse range of thinking and thinkers. Cross-Pollinators. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

  1. Pingback: Cross-pollinators and the risks of specialization. The screw and the knife. | diego fdez-sevilla

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.