You’re a Provocateur!

There are 6 Innovation Archetypes, and
you are the Provocateur.

13% of all innovators think like you.

Download Your Profile

Who are the Provocateurs?

Zone of Genius: Challenge the Status Quo

These nonconformist thinkers question long-held assumptions and generate highly original ideas. As creative disrupters, they lead the way in coming up with new ideas to create transformation within all areas of the business. Their ability to push past the obvious makes them sustainable and prolific idea generators. Once Provocateurs get in the groove, there’s nothing too bizarre to consider.



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


Your role in the bigger picture:

You know how to shake things up, Provocateur! Of the thousands of people who have taken the Innovation Archetype Assessment, only 13% 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 you, but the struggle between your true self and how you’re expected to show up every day exhausts you 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

Provocateurs connect dots quickly and easily. You fight organizational inertia with novel thinking and unconventional problem-solving approaches. You naturally push against the norm of how people think and consistently ask, “What if?”

When you struggle

With all of this big thinking, you can get impatient with other who don’t think on their feet like you do. You can be perceived as difficult to get along with and often rub others the wrong way. When you try too hard, your ideas seem over the top and unrealistic. A Provocateur’s natural talent in generating ideas can fall short in execution.

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: 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

  • No other archetype can push boundaries like a Provocateur when they believe there’s a brighter future. Combine this idealism with the practicality of a Strategist to get things done and you have the perfect A-team.
  • The Provocateur’s willingness to rattle cages plays well with the Strategist’s desire to design a blueprint to make things better.

When you’re in conflict

  • The impatient Provocateur can jump in with both feet before the Strategist believes there’s even a plan to follow. This creates tension that makes everyone uncomfortable.
  • The Strategist’s desire to bring things to completion can be in direct conflict with the Provocateur’s spontaneous nature.

Culture Shaper

Zone of Genius: Communicate change
As a Culture Shaper, this innovator architects the brand and oversees how it’s being expressed. They sculpt the image and perception of innovation and articulate the range of knowledge that its people share.


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: 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 understand the power in getting people to believe in something big and that they can be a part of making it happen.
  • Provocateurs and Psychologists both know that before any idea can go anywhere, you have to get people excited in the idea, engaged in the team and believing in the company.

When you’re in conflict

  • When Provocateurs start getting vocal about changing the way things have always been done, Psychologists feel too much tension for their comfort.
  • The Provocateurs who push too hard too fast and too often cause concern for Psychologists who think the overall culture can’t keep pace.


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

  • These big thinkers love their combined “go big or go home” approach and pushing the status quo.
  • When you join forces, Orchestrators and Provocateurs are able to create an inspired vision and then work through the politics to make it a reality.

When you’re in conflict

  • Provocateur’s natural push to disrupt can lead to a major clash with an Orchestrator’s preference to keep everything humming in a forward direction.
  • Orchestrators know how to maneuver political stepping-stones and get frustrated with a Provocateur’s impatience with inevitable processes.


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

  • The reflective nature of Collaborators who pay attention to constant improvement is the perfect balance to the Provocateur’s lack of attention to details.
  • Provocateurs love to think about how all of their enveloping-pushing ideas will start to take hold across teams and silos. Collaborators help them make a bigger difference across the organization.

When you’re in conflict

  • The Provocateur’s challenging nature flies in the face of the Collaborator’s focus on better, deeper and more effective integration.
  • When Collaborators are more willing to stand up for the team than they are for the idea, they find themselves in conflict with the Provocateur’s nonstop push for something better.




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 executives 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.

Download Your Profile