There are two styles of decision making. (Kirton, 1976, 1977, 1980)
- Adaptors ’stretch’ existing agreed definitions. They proceed within the established mores. Dominates management.
- Innovators ’reconstruct’ the problem, they separate it, emerging with much less expected and probably less acceptable solutions.
‘They are less concerned with ‘doing things better’ than with ‘doing things differently’.
Across a population, Kirton and others have tens of thousands of people to go on from completed inventories to go on, there is a Normal curve of distribution (Kirton, 1977)
I am an innovator and somewhat out on the far edge of the scale. Does this render me and people I have met who are ’innovators’ unemployable? With certain teams, in certain organisations we are incompatible unless you want us there to act as a catalyst, consultant or communicator.
Any problem goes through a series of stages:
- Perception of the problem
- Analysis of the problem
- Analysis of the solution
- Agreement to change
- Implementation for most was two/three years after the problem became apparent, whilst a few were tackled with the bare minimum of analysis. Objections were often only overcome (then collectively forgotten) as a result of some crisis. Rejection was often based on WHO was putting the idea forward.
Disregard of convention when in pursuit of their own ideas has the effect of isolating innovators in a similar way to Roger’s (1957) creative loners.
32-item inventory, theoretical range of 32-160 and a mean of 96.
Cultural innovativeness see Indian Women p114
Solutions sought within the structure by adaptors so nothing changes.
‘Tolerance of the innovator is thinnest when adaptors feel under pressure from the need for imminent radical change.’ Kirton (2011:115)
It is unlikely (as well as undesirable), that any organization is so monolithic in its structure and in the ’demands’ on its personnel that it produces a total conformity of personality types. P115
How an innovator or adaptor can be an agent of change where all around have a cognitive style alien to his own. Kirton (2011:117)
Kirton. M.J. (1984) Long Range Planning 17, 2, 137-43 in Henry.J. Creative Management & Development 3rd ed. pp109 (2011) Ch8 Adaptors and Innovators: why new initiatives get blocked. M.J.Kirton
Kirton.M.J.(1977) Manual of the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory.
Rogers.C.R. (1957) Towards a theory of creativity. In H.H, Andersen. Creativity and its cultivation. Harper.