After giving a presentation last week on Personality Poker to a client, one of the other speakers discussed social media and Twitter. The emcee for the event asked me to comment on which personality style uses Twitter.
My response was, “All of them. But WHY they Twitter and HOW they Twitter differs.”
We designed Personality Poker to focus on attributes rather than activities. The reason is that activities do not differentiate personality styles, motivations do.
Nearly everyone reads. You are reading this blog. Maybe you read books. Maybe you only read toothpaste tubes. It doesn’t matter what you read. The fact that you read is less interesting than WHY you read. This may give insight into your style. Do you read to learn as much as possible? If so, you might be an analytical “spade.” Experiential “diamonds” may read to escape. Competitive “clubs” may read to make them more successful. Emotional “hearts” may read romance novels (I’m joking about this one…maybe). Of course this is a broad generalization. In reality, we read for different reasons at different times.
HOW we do what we do also helps us understand our personality.
I am primarily a “high diamond.” That means I love new experiences. Travel is my favorite activity. I am thrilled to be returning to Copenhagen and Greece to speak next week. What is interesting is HOW I plan my travel. Although I knew about this trip for many months now, I just made my flight reservations an hour ago. I still haven’t booked my hotels. Spontaneity is a cornerstone of my personality (which admittedly is a strength and weakness). Many people travel. But HOW we travel may differ. For example, clubs (especially “low” clubs who are methodical), would have everything planned out well in advance.
So WHY we do things and HOW we do things are indicators of our style. Not what we do.
So back to Twitter.
If you were to assess who Twitters, I suspect you would find a good cross section of people. I know many who are competitive clubs and Twitter to help them be successful. The heart-oriented Twitters are more interested in the connection with other human beings. Spades may be more data gatherers. Diamonds may be using Twitter because it is new and cool.
I’m a diamond. I don’t Twitter to become more successful or grow my business (the club style), although that would be nice. I don’t Twitter to build relationships with people (the heart style), although that too would be nice. My motivations fall more into the spade (my secondary style) and diamond (my primary style). I spend more time reading tweets than writing them And I tend to read more about topics than people.
I use Tweetdeck. This software allows you to create columns with filters. For me, my first filter is the word “innovation.” Anyone who uses the word innovation in a tweet shows up in that column, even if I don’t follow them. The next column is Boston. I am interested in my community and the “cool things” going on (a very diamond attribute). The next column is Boston Innovation. Finally I get to my friends status updates, replies and direct messages. The other columns change over time and often feature a client’s name. Click the image above to see my Tweetdeck. And no, your eyes are not going bad. I blurred out the conversations…
Based on WHY I tweet and HOW I tweet, you might get a good sense of my personality style.
Based on the limited information provided in this article, I would love for you to answer the following 3 questions:
- What do you think is your primary style (analytical spades, creative/experiential diamonds, methodical/competitive clubs, people-oriented hearts?
- Why do you Twitter?
- How do you Twitter?
I plan on doing more formal studies on Twitter personality styles in the future.
P.S. I love this story…The other day I did a Personality Poker session with a client. Someone in the room came to me with their hand – a combination of hearts (lovers of people and relationships) and “high” clubs (lovers of action and competition). He laughed and said, “I love to play tennis. And I love to kick the butt of my opponent (a typical high club attribute). But afterward I feel bad for the person I beat (a heart attribute).”
How do you create products that sell themselves? That is what I will be speaking about at the National Speakers Association (NSA) national convention in Phoenix, AZ this summer.
As a way of promoting that event, I was interviewed by professional MC, Camille Valvo, for the “Voices of Experience.” This audio CD is sent to all members of the National Speakers Association.
Although this 8 minute interview (which you can listen to below) is targeted at professional speakers, the concepts apply to anyone in any industry. After discussing the innovation bell curve and its relevance to the speaking business, I talk about how to create…
- interactive products that can be used during a speech (mine is Personality Poker®) (link).
- books that help your clients quickly understand the breadth of your expertise (mine is “The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas”).
What is interesting is that these two products were created “by accident.”
Personality Poker® was originally developed as an innovation tool for me to use with my corporate clients and in my keynote speeches. Inevitably, participants at my events would ask where they could buy the poker cards and the accompanying instruction manual. Instruction manual? I never planned to write one because I never planned to sell the cards. However, I decided to give my customers what they wanted. The first version of the instruction manual was pretty rough but was available within a month. The current version took quite a bit longer. The next version will be available September 2010, but more on that another time.
“The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas” was originally conceived as pamphlet. It was going to be 25 tips condensed into a booklet small enough to fit in a jacket’s breast pocket. Each tip would be 3 sentences long. What I discovered was that I had a difficult time choosing only 25 tips. And I had a more difficult time limiting each tip to just a paragraph. The result would have been trite sound bites. But I liked the idea of cataloging my 20+ years of experience into a series of tips. So during my spare time, I continued to write my thoughts in a Word document. I eventually pulled together 75 tips, each between one and two pages in length. I never expected to turn the Word document into a salable product. But my clients loved the content and wanted to buy copies for the attendees of their events. So, once again, I decided to listen to my customers and to give them what they wanted. Interestingly, the current book cover was designed by one of my clients.
In just 9 months I have gone through 1,500 decks of poker cards (enough for 12,000 people), and over the past 18 months I have sold thousands of copies of the “Little Book.” Not bad for two accidental products.
The interview is not a sales pitch. We do not focus on the products, but rather the thought process I went through in developing them. The purpose is to help people think differently about their products…and to help promote the NSA convention.
Stream the interview…
Download the mp3 (right click and “save target as” to download to your computer)
People who play Personality Poker tell me that they love its simplicity. But what they find most amazing is how this simple “game” can generate profound insights.
During a recent event, one participant commented that she learned more about herself and her team in 15 minutes than she had in her previous 15 years.
In today’s age of data-driven analysis, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that more data and more complexity lead to better results.
This is not always true.
I was chatting with Michael Wiederman, Professor of Psychology at Columbia College, this morning. Michael did a fascinating podcast with me a while back. Be sure to check it out.
When discussing the simplicity of Personality Poker, he responded:
“Simpler is good, as long as it’s valid/useful. As an analogy, I recall a published study from several years ago in which a battery of all of the widely-used depression inventories were administered to the same group of people, along with some other questions. The best predictor of who was depressed? The single question: ‘Are you depressed?’ So much for complexity.”
Common Innovation Myths
Where else do we fall prey to the belief that bigger is better?
- More Ideas = Better Ideas. Although free thinking is useful during the generation of creative ideas, if you are solving the wrong problem, all the ideas in the world won’t make a difference.
- More Data = Better Customer Insights. Data mining is the rage. Unfortunately it only allows you to study your customers. Quite often the greatest insights come from those who are not your customers — or those who were and no longer are.
- More Goals = Better Results. Goals are useful in moderation. However, an obsession with outcomes often results in taking your eye off the present. The result is worse performance. Read my article on “The Performance Paradox” for more.
As mentioned in a previous blog entry, I am a big believer that “Simplification is Innovation.” Don’t confuse complexity with quality. The greatest ideas are often the simplest.
P.S. I am reading Made to Stick…finally. It is an excellent book on the stickiness of ideas. Once again, we see that often the simplest ideas are the ones that stick best.
Shadow Poker is the same as regular Personality Poker, except with one small difference: the goal is to choose personality traits that describe the people you don’t like. All players choose the five cards that best describe the people who get on their nerves.
This version is based on Carl Jung’s “shadow” work. The theory is that people have an irrational dislike of others who demonstrate characteristics that they most dislike in themselves
This game works best when all of the players do not know that this is based on shadow theory, because then everyone will be thinking of others and not themselves. Revealing this “projection” motif at the end of the game can prove quite insightful. Jung suggested that everyone eventually has to come to terms with this shadow self.
Shadow Poker is just one of the many variations included in out new and improved 80 page instruction manual. Order your Innovation Personality Poker Starter Kit today.
Want to try out our Innovation Personality Poker? Now, due to popular demand, you can get our sampler for only $30 postage paid. You get one deck of 52 cards (good for 5 to 10 people depending on how you play) and a Quick Start Guide. Only one sampler kit per customer. US orders only.
Of course, you can order the full set with the 100 page instruction manual, 6 decks of cards, and an instructional video for only $200 postage paid at our 24/7 Innovation Store.
I have played Innovation Personality Poker with groups from 8 to 800 in size.
David Zinger, a fantastic blogger (who incidentally wrote a brief review of Personality Poker today), provided me with a solitaire version that I really like.
He noted that there are 52 weeks in the year and 52 cards in the deck. This is a fact that I had not noticed!
Here’s his suggestion:
Each week you choose a different card that dictates your personality for those seven days. Here are the rules:
- Shuffle the cards.
- Choose one card at random from the deck.
- Put the card in a place where you will see it frequently.
- Optional: On an index card, write the attributes and qualities that come to mind when you think of the word. Put the index card next to your playing card.
- For the next seven days, use that card as a focus for the week to bring forth that quality, or to watch out for that quality during your various activities and relationships.
- With the two, three and four cards (the negative attributes), it may be more of a case of watching out for this quality in yourself and others.
Here’s an example from David in his own words:
I just got the four of hearts (submissive) for the first week. At first I didn’t like it, but today is my 20th wedding anniversary. I’m taking a more creative approach to the quality of submissive.
- I will be more responsive to how my wife thinks and feels.
- I will let her decide what restaurant we will go to for our anniversary dinner.
- I will work this week on being very responsive to what she wants.
Although this is a totally different use than the cards were intended, I think this is a fantastic way of enhancing your creativity on a daily basis. One of my favorite creativity techniques is to make believe you are someone else. If you imagine that you are Walt Disney for the day, you will see things you have never noticed before. David’s idea takes this a step further. Instead of being a different person, you just take on different attributes, attitudes, and behaviors. Brilliant.
Thanks David. Happy Canada Day.
We just completed the Innovation Personality Poker instruction manual. It is 85 pages of solid content. Below you will find the Table of Contents.
There is a “Quick Start Guide” [chapter 1] that can have you up and running in a matter of minutes. There is a transcript of a 45 minute ice breaker [chapter 8] to help you run your own session.
Everything in between provides details on how to play the game, how to interpret the results, and how to use Personality Poker to improve your innovation process.
To learn more, go to http://www.innovationpersonalitypoker.com/
Table of Contents
1. Quick Start Guide
Personality Poker™ for Innovation – Taking orders now, shipping mid-July
To order, go to our 24/7 Innovation Shopping Cart
Personality Poker is a fast-paced, highly interactive game that helps employees (and individuals) understand how they contribute to – and detract from – the innovation process. This is a personality test specifically designed for innovation and gives you yet another valuable tool to enhance both your professional and personal lives.
How Do You Play?
All participants trade 52 specially designed poker cards with each other. The objective is to get a perfect hand that reveals your preferred innovation style and how you can best contribute to the success of your organization. This is the only form of poker where you are guaranteed to come out a winner every time.
This game will help you discover…
* why the person you like the least may be the person you need the most
* how your innovation strength may ultimately limit your success
* how to get the right people in the right roles – and where you may currently be misaligned
* a common mistake that people make when selling to others – and how you can easily correct it
* how others see you – and how that might be different than how you see yourself
* why certain leadership styles are more likely to fail–and what you can do about it
* how to improve your relationships – both professionally and personally
If you want to have 24/7 Innovation, where innovation is part of your organization’s DNA, then it is not about finding your strengths; it is about finding how your strengths work best with your team.
“Stephen Shapiro brought a Las Vegas level of energy to the group. He made the session not only useful and relevant to understanding of personality mixes and their impact on driving or blocking innovation, but also highly interactive with a lot of audience participation. When you are in a series of presentations at meetings, energy can run out of the room. It didn’t with Stephen’s Personality Poker!”
Andrew Bushell, Head of Innovation, Novartis Consumer Health
“Personality Poker is an entertaining and engaging exercise. The end result is consistent with ‘other’ personality tests, but you can get a team there a lot quicker and have more fun doing so. Plus your understanding of how it matters in the bigger innovation picture really sticks. Fantastic!”
Michele Egger, Innovation Operations, Chevron
“Personality Poker is a fun and engaging approach to both personal assessment and understanding team dynamics. This approach helped me recognize how my own problem-solving approach may complement (or clash) with other team members, and gave me useful insights into future team development.”
Ben Cowles, P&C Business Insurance Service Operations, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
“I thought I’d seen just about every profiling tool there was. Until now, those I’ve seen all required you to fill out questionnaires that are boring and can lead to biased answers. But Personality Poker got to the desired endpoint more quickly, more engagingly, and with less bias than any of these.”
Rob, S., Innovation Champion and Facilitator, R&D Division, A Major Pharmaceutical*
“Personality Poker is both enlightening and engaging. It is similar to other personality test, but is a lot more FUN! It’s a great exercise for any organization to inject some excitement while learning how to create functional teams.”
Tom Morgan, General Manager of Innovation & Process Improvement, Premier Manufacturing Support Services
“If you’re looking for an engaging, invigorating and creative way to kick off your conference or meeting, I highly recommend Personality Poker!”
Randal White, V.P. Innovation Engineering, Imaginatik, plc
“My experience with group style awareness exercises is that they are like getting five-year-olds to take medicine – unpleasant to administer and having benefits that are little understood by the patients. Personality Poker is actually fun and most important, very thorough in understanding team member styles as well as one’s own. The result must be a higher probability of stronger teams with a greater utilization of strengths and acceptance of differences.”
Bruce Harned, President, MarketFit Associates
To order, go to our 24/7 Innovation Shopping Cart
In addition to the cards, an 85 page instructor’s manual helps you play the game, interpret the results, and embed innovation in your organization. The manual includes the following:
1. Quick Start Guide
2. Getting a Winning Hand
* Step 1 – Distributing the Cards
* Step 2 – Ranking Cards
* Step 3 – Improving Your Hand
* Step 4 – The Bargain Basement Sale
* Step 5 – Giving Others Cards (optional)
3. Finding Your Primary Style
* Selecting Your Primary Suit
* Interpreting Your Primary Style
* Secondary Styles
* Complementing (Opposite) Styles
* What if My Cards Don’t Fit the Pattern?
* Stress Styles
* Repressed Styles
4. The Four Styles in More Detail
o How they communicate
o How they make decisions
o How you can best communicate with them
o How to sell to them
o How they act under stress
o How they decompress
* Spades: The Thinkers
* Clubs: The Planners and Doers
* Hearts: The Relaters
* Diamonds: The Creatives and Experiencers
5. The Styles and the Innovation Process
* The High-Level Innovation Process
* How Innovation REALLY Works
* How Each Style Contributes to Innovation
o Phase 1: Define the Opportunity
o Phase 2: Find Solutions
o Phase 3: Strengthen, Select, and Plan
o Phase 4: Implement
* Getting a Balanced Team
* Organization Innovation Styles
* Making Your Style Visible to Others
* Style Description Sheet
6. Frequently Asked Questions
* Should I play to my strengths or improve my weaknesses? Can people change?
* I’m an entrepreneur. How can I use the poker concept to help me improve my business?
* What does it mean when people give me cards that are different than the ones I selected for myself?
7. Alternative Rules for Playing
* Guess Everyone’s Style
* A Full Year of Solitaire
* Focused Quick Cut
8. A Sample Script (of a 45 minute ice breaker)
About the Cards
These high-quality cards are manufactured by the same company that makes playing cards for Las Vegas casinos.
More in depth support materials, such as audio and video, will be available for purchase as part of our “virtual train the trainer.”
Licensing opportunities available.
Innovation Speeches Using the Cards
Stephen Shapiro is also available to deliver Personality Poker™ as a speech for your organization. He can provide in-depth insights into the innovation process and the innovation personalities. He has delivered Personality Poker™ to audiences ranging from 8-to-800 people. This is a great, high-energy session to kick off your next event. It can be combined with Stephen’s other speech topics.
We are taking orders now and will start shipping mid-July. We already sold out our first print run and are awaiting more.
To order, go to our 24/7 Innovation Shopping Cart
* Some VERY big companies prefer that their name not be used in official endorsements.
Coming June 1, 2008
I just heard from the lawyers this morning, and they gave me the green light to tell everyone about our newest product – “Personality Poker (TM).” We applied for both a trademark (hence the TM used everywhere) and a Provisional Patent.
What is Personality Poker (TM)?
It is a fast-paced, highly interactive game that helps employees (and individuals) understand how they contribute to – and detract from – the innovation process.
How do you play?
All participants trade 52 specially designed poker cards with each other. The objective is to get a perfect hand that reveals your preferred innovation style and how you can best contribute to the success of your organization.
This game will help you discover…
- why the person you like the least may be the person you need the most
- how your innovation strength may ultimately limit your success
- how to get the right people in the right roles – and where you may currently be misaligned
- a common mistake that people make when selling to others – and how you can easily correct it
- how others see you – and how that might be different than how you see yourself
- if you work personality is different than your “home” personality – and why you should care
- why certain leadership styles are more likely fail…and what you can do about it
- how to improve your relationships – both professionally and personally
If you want to have 24/7 Innovation, where innovation is part of your organization’s DNA, then it’s not about finding your strengths, it’s about finding how your strengths work best with your team.
Remember, the person you like the least is the person you need the most.
About the Cards
These high quality cards are made by the same company that manufacturers playing cards for Las Vegas casinos.
In addition to the cards, an instructor’s manual will hep you play the game and interpret the results. More in depth support materials such as audio and video will also be available for purchase.
Licensing opportunities may be available.
Innovation Speeches Using the Cards
Stephen Shapiro is also available to deliver Personality Poker (TM) as a speech for your organization. He can provide in depth insights into the innovation process and the innovation personalities. He has delivered Personality Poker (TM) to audiences ranging from 15 people to 300 people. This is a great, high-energy session to kick off your next event. It can be combined with Stephen’s other speech topics.
We will let you know when the product is officially available.