Many ideas are borne out of solitude. The shower is a classic example of quiet alone-time creating a vacuum for new thoughts. Still, we usually have to bring these thoughts back to a team for development. We also have moments where we need to generate ideas in a team environment.
Having the proper team chemistry is critical for this creative work. It helps to have individuals fulfill certain roles to guide, inspire and cultivate ideas. Some of these roles played aren’t just beneficial, they’re critical.
Below are nine film characters who best epitomize these roles:
Indiana Jones – The Explorer
Creative teams need someone who will take them into uncharted territory. If you have an “Indie,” his sense of adventure coupled with his appreciation for different cultures will unearth treasures of ideas.
Sister Maria – The Creativity Facilitator
Creative teams need creative environments. This is no problem for Maria. She knows when something special is needed – the sound of music, the aroma of candles, the inspiration of poetry or the invigoration of a team exercise. Her creativity sets the stage for others to generate ideas. That’s a special gift.
Q from James Bond – Mr. R & D
If you need tools and resources for your project, this is your man. Q may not make all the gadgets himself, but he knows what can be done and what is at your disposal. This can range from administrative needs to IT equipment.
Dorothy Gale – The Visionary
Tired of Kansas? So is Dorothy. She has a dream of a better place. She wants better things for herself, but she also will align with the needs of others. She’s sensitive to those around her. She wants to make sure others get their courage, heart and brains. By helping them get what they want, she gets her own reward.
Danny Ocean – The Team Builder
Part of planning is defining roles. Ocean is a pro at foreseeing the skills and personalities necessary in pulling off a job. He also knows how to delegate responsibility. He’s not a one-man team, though he is extremely capable on his own. He realizes the value of a team.
Jason Bourne – The Improv Innovator
When you need ideas on-the-spot, look to Bourne. It seems as though whatever’s on hand becomes an instant resource in the fight for ideas. Anything seems to inspire him – the topic of conversation, a painting on the wall, an article he read this morning… he uses them for the moment at hand.
Erin Brockovich – The Go-Getter
You can’t stay in brainstorming mode forever. Erin will move the team off dead-center. She pushes everyone into action and isn’t intimidated by hurdles. Though she may be a little brash, most people still have a healthy respect for her because she is hard working and brutally honest.
Morpheus - The Reality Check
Welcome to the real world. Morpheus sees things as they are, but also as they can be. He doesn’t want to pretend everything is OK. He wants to be active in making things better. He will face up to a dismal financial picture, but challenge everyone to rally together and beat the odds.
Clarice Starling – The Collaborator
If you have a room full of strong personalities, like the characters in this list, the potential for conflict is elevated. Clarice is superb at bringing out the best in team members. She can work well with authority, but also with the unsavory type. She never loses sight of the goal and pulls the necessary information out of individuals to keep the team moving forward.
A combination of these roles can create a potent, creative team. For more in-depth information on team roles in creativity and innovation, I recommend Tom Kelley’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation.