Information Productivity is the new IP. Our intellect expands through reading, being present in engaging conversations, and using the knowledge gained in daily activities.
In the Information Productivity Cycle article, we examined the importance of converting the information absorbed into actionable steps. Each step in the cycle plays a role, but converting the information and acting on it are two critical steps in driving change or keeping initiatives moving forward.
Greater Clarity – Two by Two
If converting and acting are linchpin steps, then let’s pair them up to understand more about their nature. The matrix below highlights different information productivity personalities.
Information Productivity Has a Personality
It is interesting to see the personality of information productivity unfold. Each quadrant produces insightful characteristics.
Thinker. In this personality, a person will take in a lot of information and hold it in. There is no real action taken other than thinking about it. There can be two negative implications to this personality. First, this is the spinning wheel. Information comes in and just spins in place. No traction gained. Second, this is the black hole. Information comes in and never leaves.
Although thinking about the information we absorb is important, there is a high risk of frustration involved. People working with the thinkers may get worn out with the lack of results or progress forward.
Teacher. Moving over to the next quadrant, a person here absorbs information but also conveys it. They share what they learn. In this personality style, a teacher emerges. The information is presented and may be well-organized, but it stops at this point in the process.
Teaching is a vital role. However, in some organizations, if that is all a person does, people may lose interest. Action speaks louder than words at times. Some balance could be required.
Analyst. As we move up to the converting row, there is an information personality of absorbing information and converting it into a usable form. Here, a person translates the data into actionable steps or thoughtful points to consider, but they do not take it to the next phase of acting upon it. They may not be the drivers of action; they are the analyzers of information.
Analysts fill a need in organizations, as they provide the fuel for the doers.
Problem-Solver. In this information personality, a person is a problem-solver. They absorb the information, analyze it, and convert it into reasonable action steps. They have a problem-solving mindset.
Problem-solvers can connect the dots from information to steps to action to measuring outcomes. They play a valuable role in any organization, department, or team, as they can define a path forward to leverage information in a meaningful and fruitful way.
An Ideal Information Productivity Personality – Organizational and Personal
Depending on our organization, we may need a few of each personality. We also may need an emphasis on one or two, especially if we are trying to engage in proactive initiatives, grow a business, launch new products, or just continue to solve problems as they arise. Some information productivity personalities may be more vital than others, depending on our purpose and mission.
Determining our strategy may help determine the right mix of personalities required.
As individuals, it is important to think about which information productivity personality we lean toward and then also think about what is expected of us. If the expectation for us to is to serve as a problem-solver and we tend to act more as an analyzer, then we may need to change or find a different role.
This framework may provide a reasonable point of self-reflection and assessment and highlight some new choices to make in how we lead and do our work.
Information is everywhere, always present. The way we lead through it may depend on how well we convert it and then take action. Our personality may shed some awareness on changes to make and practices to keep.
What are your thoughts on the Information Productivity Personalities? Does it work? Which quadrant do you spend most of your time in? Please add your insights below.
Join the Conversation
What Is Your Information Productivity Personality?
Nice typology, Jon. While I can certainly see the contribution of all 4 personalities, in most orgs, if you’re consistently a problem-solver, you’re a valued asset. I wonder where you might put an “innovator” personality? It’s more than being a “thinker,” as this role isn’t about simply maintaining information but creating and transforming ideas and insights (that perhaps a “creator” could take into the world in tangible form). A product development function, for instance, would really benefit from having an innovator (and creator) personality on the team. What do you think?
Great points, Alice. There are probably several “personality” types that can go in the problem-solver quadrant, and innovator, entrepreneur, etc. could go in there. Why this is the case is that each of these personalities convert information into actionable steps and then produce the action.
The key, in my opinion, is the ability to convert information into actionable steps and then into meaningful action. Any personality that highlights this ability would easily “fit” into this quadrant.
All great points, and there may be another post in your comment! Great addition and points to the conversation. Thank you! Jon
Perhaps an innovator is someone with proficiency in all four quadrants.
Love that perspective, Susan! I think that is an excellent point. A solid innovator needs to practice all four personalities in order to facilitate momentum around an idea. Great perspective! Thanks! Jon
Great thought, Susan! That’s one possibility for sure. It’s also possible that the innovator stays on the inactive half of Jon’s matrix, being more of an originator of ideas. Some innovators are fantastic dreamers with ground-breaking ideas that either do things not possible before or better than before–that’s really the essence of innovation. However, many innovators aren’t the best executors. What they love is the dream, the vision. It sometimes takes one or more partners who are doers and inspired by the dream / vision to bring the innovation to life.