“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

What’s your creative/collaboration super power

I was reading the great wrap up of the 99% conference by Behance. There is some really great thoughts captured/curated in that piece. It’s like a real Making Ideas TED. Kudos to the organizers and editors.

The one thing that jumped out at me was report of Keith Yamashita’s talk:

KEITH YAMASHITA /// Chairman, SYPartners
Keith Yamashita is one of the masterminds behind SYPartners, a creative firm that has helped brands from Apple to IBM to Starbucks define their futures and reinvent themselves. Drawing on decades of experience with creative teams, Yamashita outlined a handful of the habits that lead to incredible collaborative performances.

  • Creative greatness is the result of an ensemble. We often think of creativity as happening in isolation, but this is rarely the case.  Navigating your dual role as a soloist and a member of the ensemble will help drive your dream to its full potential.
  • Find your unique superpower. When teams are at their best, every person serves a unique and essential role that plays to their individual strengths. SYPartners developed a deck of “superpower cards” to help attendees identify their superpower, which could be anything from Grit to Peace-Making to Energy.
  • Create an environment where people can be their best selves. Respect what each teammate’s “superpower” is, and give them every chance to use it by calling on them in specific situations that demand their expertise. “Great teams don’t come about through chance – they cultivate a set of positive habits that lead to greatness.”

All 3 points really resonated with me and seem to counter some of the prevailing “wisdom” coming from the tech creative set in my world that I’ve been struggling with, so I really love getting this support.

a) It is almost given at this point that we need people who can be experts and play well with others, but I love the way he takes the musician metaphor of soloist and member of ensemble. Be the best cellist in the world but realize that to do so means to lead, listen and respond to your violins and viola as well.

b) I love the idea of “super powers”. Ok, I might be sounding a bit narcissistic, but I really love the management idea that letting people do their best at one thing will probably lead them to be better at other things in the future. Encourage “feeling special” and BEING special.


What’s your super power?

And of course this question of “super power” begs the question, what do you think your super power is?
Me? I think my biggest super power is my excitement which gets harnessed as energy. That caring acts as a catapult of anything that I am passionate about. It is also a perpetual energy source when coupled with other’s excitement, appreciation, and passion of the same idea(s). This is how IxDA came into being, almost 100%. What’s great is that it doesn’t need to be the same people all the time. It just can’t run out for extended periods, or it starts absorbing itself into oblivion.
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  • Juan

    Hi, any way of getting the superpower cards? maybe scanned somewhere online?

  • http://davemalouf.com/ Dave malouf

    Here’s what I found online:
    http://vimeo.com/42663487 which has this link to it: http://teams.sypartners.com/
    I didn’t see anyplace to get the cards outside of the original presentation of the conference. My former employer had went to the conference which is how I found out about it and had access to the cards.
    — dave


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