You’re a Culture Shaper!

There are 6 Innovation Archetypes, and
you are the Culture Shaper.

25% of all innovators think like you.

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Who are the Culture Shapers?

Zone of Genius: Communicate change

Culture Shapers architect the brand and oversee how it’s being expressed. They sculpt the image and perception of innovation and articulate the range of expertise that its people share.

With the Culture Shaper comes the rise of the storytellers—the people who create a compelling story arc over a long period of time and then understand how to infuse it into the narrative of the organization. They use it to activate and inspire employee trust, participation, and courage, particularly in times of great transition and change.



Plato once said that your archetype
describes “your ideal self.”


Your role in the bigger picture:

You know how to represent, Culture Shaper! Of the thousands of people who have taken the Innovation Assessment, only 26% rank as this archetype.

You’ll find success in roles and job functions that align with who you are as a person, or your archetype. You may earn accomplishments in roles that aren’t natural for your, but the struggle between your true self and how you’re expected to show up every day exhausts your over time. The likelihood that you’ll experience burn out and conflict increases dramatically. That is, unless you understand and learn how to manage the balance between what you bring to the world as an innovative thinker and what the world expects of you.

When you soar

When a Culture Shaper connects the dots, you’re able to create a compelling storyline around change and get people to join forces. You’re savvy at helping those around you realize that status quo has become the threat rather than the risk of doing something new. Culture Shapers tap into the storyline of the experience of others to show people the way so that changing habits and deeply engrained behaviors happen with less resistance.

When you struggle

But keep in mind that you can get so caught up in the execution of the story and getting it right that you lose sight of the most important element: people. Your focus on the future leads you to forget that you need to slow down and bring others along for the ride. Culture Shapers can come across as impatient, demanding, and out of touch.

How you interact with the other Innovation Archetypes:

Not every innovator looks the same, nor should they. Each has their own ideal self. Understanding your strengths helps bring out your best in your own work. It affects how you contribute on a team and how you interact with others in your organization. It also affects how well you perform in any role you’re in or job title you have.

Along with you, the following five innovation archetypes make up the most successful teams in the most innovative companies, regardless of size, industry or location. As you read through them, do you identify with just one of them? Or do you see yourself in several? Some people report that they’re a little bit of all of them; does that sound like you? While more than one may feel relatable, the truth is that it comes from having practiced functioning in the mindset of these different types of innovators. The more fluent you are in understanding the different archetypes, how you support their work and vice versa, the easier it will be to identify opportunities to fill in the gaps when situations need it.

Think about each of the Zones of Genius and how they may relate to how you naturally think. This will help you see how the teams you’re on might be set up, where and how you naturally contribute or struggle and why.



Zone of Genius: Empathy
By smashing the traditional perspective of a highly rational approach to solving problems, the Psychologist understands unstructured innovation. Perhaps even more importantly they understand the evolving role of trust not just in innovation, but in business today.


When you’re in harmony

  • You both get to the heart and soul of innovation and what it means to people, the most often overlooked part of the work that’s done.
  • Understanding the importance of story in bringing people along turns this duo into powerful visionaries who help people see what the possibilities of tomorrow look like.


When you’re in conflict

  • Psychologists can be overly sensitive about change to start with. Add to that your potential to overthink things for the sake of those affected, and you can become a barrier to making progress.
  • Not everyone’s comfortable with new ideas. Head butting happens when Psychologists get overly sensitive to rocking the boat and Culture Shapers are simply trying to do their job.


Zone of Genius: Lead fearlessly
Orchestrators choreograph the process to keep things humming. They know how to maneuver the political stepping-stones in every corner of the business. Orchestrators also drive relationships and the reputation of innovation within their organization.

When you’re in harmony

  • Orchestrators and Culture Shapers like to see big things happens and understand the need for a fluid narrative that keeps people consistently moving forward.
  • When this dynamic duo is in sync, they create powerful momentum by aligning internal and external messages around a future vision.

When you’re in conflict

  • Orchestrators can forget that big change requires connecting the dots between the familiar past and the visionary future. When this happens, they see the work of Culture Shapers as tedious and a waste of time.
  • Shaping a new narrative on culture doesn’t happen overnight. The Orchestrators fearlessness can clash with the Culture Shapers steady execution.


Zone of Genius: Integration
Ideas can’t go anywhere by themselves. Collaborators love to get involved with some or all of the process, help improve ideas and then champion them. Collaborators care less about getting personal credit and more about building bonds, so ideas have a greater chance of success.


When you’re in harmony

  • Perhaps one of the most effective archetype combinations. The Collaborator’s focus on integration works beautifully with a Culture Shaper’s intent to bring out the range of expertise of people.
  • Both archetypes like to roll up their sleeves and make sure that the work they care about crosses the finish line.

When you’re in conflict

  • Too much attention on making things gel between people and teams can make it hard to address the critical message – change.
  • Collaborators can feel overly loyal to people they’ve bonded with. That makes it difficult for Culture Shapers to talk about the work everyone does from a different lens.

Zone of Genius: Challenging the status quo
These nonconformist thinkers question long-held assumptions and generate highly original ideas. Their ability to push past the obvious makes them sustainable and prolific idea generators.


When you’re in harmony

  • The Provocateur’s nature of pushing the status quo meshes perfectly with a Culture Shaper’s ability to weave a narrative of why the change matters and what the destination will look like.
  • Both archetypes are idealists, who inspire others to strive for bigger ideals and heart-led values.  

When you’re in conflict

  • The methodical approach and meticulous consistency with which the Culture Shaper insists on communicating change can quickly wear down the fast-paced, boundary-pushing Provocateur.
  • Culture Shapers find there comes a day when they have to draw the line with all the new ideas Provocateurs keep throwing their way.



Zone of Genius: Strategy and planning
Strategists love to create the blueprint and get things done. They have an eye for priorities and how things should be executed in order to show results. They like to teach others to do the same, and people identify Strategists as the “go-to” people for launching new ideas and bringing them to fruition.

When you’re in harmony

  • You’re both big on creating the structure that’s necessary to supports innovation, new ideas and, ultimately, change.
  • Strategists appreciate the story-driven Culture Shapers and how they’re able to help others see and understand a vision of the future, and then get down to the brass tacks of making it a reality.

When you’re in conflict

  • The Strategist’s natural drive for order can feel like rigid perfectionism to Culture Shapers.
  • The Culture Shaper's focus on ensuring the story of change comes through in ways people can relate to makes Strategists feel like everybody is dragging their feet rather than getting on with the business at hand.




We’ll start by having your whole team take the Innovation Archetype Assessment. Then, we’ll benchmark your team against your performance goals, showing you how to increase alignment, improve effectiveness, spark passion and confidence, empower people to draw on the strengths of their archetype, and build deeper trust, commitment and confidence.

The ultimate outcome is a team that enjoys working together, appreciates each other’s diverse experiences and insights, and consistently delivers highly innovative and effective results.




What can you learn from the world’s most prolific innovators?

The most successful idea people know that it’s not a title that brings big outcomes, it’s consistently following a repeatable, scalable process. One that can be taught, learned and consistently practiced.

Learn more about our keynotes, books and research and advisory services. We’ll show you how to connect individual skills with innovation to the overall performance of your organization.



We’ve worked with startups, Fortune 100 companies and every size in between. We help executive and leaders understand their starting points, design their innovation journey and deliver the research, training and advice to help them make innovation a mindset. You’ll learn the impact that a broader innovation practice has on business and the path to creating and sustaining a culture that welcomes new ideas, encourages experimentation and rewards critical thinking.

This is how companies of all sizes become genuinely nimble, passionate, innovative powerhouses that deliver extraordinary outcomes in any industry and under any market condition.

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