Step #2: Appreciate Individual Differences with the Eight Creative Talents

While everyone is creative, individuals are not alike in their creativity since there is no one "best" way to be creative. While there are a variety of techniques for identifying a leader's creative talents, the Breakthrough Creativity approach with the Eight Creative Talents model is a powerful tool that has helped many leaders from all over the world. It's a structured approach to help define a leader's favorite creative talents and then figure out how to be more consistent, purposeful and effective in producing creative results.

Of course, many other factors shape creative accomplishment, such as organizational climate, childhood experiences, family dynamics, ethnic origin, even gender. However, a leader's cognitive preferences for perceiving data and making decisions play a major role in shaping a leader's creative contributions and results. They can also affect the way leaders communicate, lead a team or project, or address the challenges of innovation and change.

Combining her creativity research with the psychological types of Swiss psychologist Carl G. Jung (1888-1961), Lynne has defined eight creative talents — all equal in value. Each of the eight creative talents can produce creative results — just different ones. And while leaders develop preferences for one or two of the talents, they still have access to all eight talents, with practice!

The Eight Creative Talents

Four of the talents are used to collect data about the challenges leaders face. They are:

  • The Adventurer talent whose Improvisational Creativity encourages experimentation and clever adaptations based on the five senses and the facts at hand. Examples »
  • The Navigator talent whose Adaptive Creativity pulls in facts and details to build on what others have already done while adding a new twist. Examples »
  • The Explorer talent, whose Catalytic Creativity continually challenges the status quo and generates new ideas and opportunities. Examples »
  • The Visionary talent, with its Futuristic Creativity asks bold questions, sees multiple connections, and provides far-reaching insights into the future. Examples »

The other four creative talents are used to make decisions about that information. They are:

  • The Pilot talent, whose Strategic Creativity provides designs, strategies and plans to improve an organization and get things done. Examples »
  • The Inventor talent, with its Paradigm Shifting Creativity shifts paradigms and builds models to analyze and provide unusual insights. Examples »
  • The Diplomat talent 1, whose Collaborative Creativity provides a focus on people issues and fosters a nurturing environment that brings out the team's creativity. Examples »
  • The Poet with its Thoughtful Counsel Creativity, encourages reflection, articulation of eternal values, and an appreciation for quiet beauty and elegance. Examples »

1 In the book Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents this talent was called the "Harmonizer" talent. However, that label proved difficult to translate into other languages, and thus has been changed to "Diplomat" in order to recognize the growing use of the Breakthrough Creativity model around the globe.

Lynne Levesque, Ed.D.

Consultant, Researcher, Author

Lynne Levesque headshot

Author of

"Breakthrough Creativity Profile
Second Edition Guides"

Breakthrough Creativity Profile Guides covers

"Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents"
Breakthrough Creativity book cover