Collaboration Styles

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Henry Ford
Tool Step

Role of this tool

Everyone has a role to play in collaborative innovation, but individuals need to know where they fit in the team. Collaboration Styles assesses our collaboration skills and the balance of skills within our team, company or partnership. It helps by finding out what collaboration style we tend to adopt.

Are we collaborating effectively? Is our team balanced? How do collaboration styles amongst team members compare?

We have found that Explorers and Connectors tend to be effective in the ‘Explore’ stage of innovation, Producers and Activators suit the ‘Extract’ stage and Cultivators and Influencers shine in the ‘Exploit’ stage.

Explore Extract Exploit
Explorers Producers Cultivators
+ Being creative and inquisitive, original thinking and testing different concepts, spotting insights. + Understanding everyone's diverse motivations, navigating challenges, communicating with sensitivity + Empathy, intuition, inspiring others
- Can be prone to over excitement and a lack of focus - Shows more interest in the process than results - Can blend into the background and lack confidence
Connectors Activators Influencers
+ Spotting similarities or differences, brokering new opportunities, taking interest in others + Leading by example, mobilising others, communicating with authority + Encouraging others to open up, understanding what's important to others, communicating persuasively
- Can be distracted and unaccountable - Can stifle innovation by jumping into solution mode too quickly - Tendency to exaggerate details or dominate
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How do we use it?

Taking the 5-minute multiple-choice online Collaboration Styles Test will help find out our styles. You can find the English version here and the Spanish version here.

Discovering our strengths and weaknesses in this way could help collaboration to succeed contributing to the effectiveness of our team.

To use the paper version, we simply answer the questions and add up the points. There are three questions linked to each collaboration style. Individuals add their scores together for the questions listed under each style.

In both the online and paper version, each person is aligned with the Collaboration Style with the most points. It’s OK if you get equal high scores for two or more collaboration styles, as many of us are blends of two or three styles. We use the results to reflect on our performance in an innovation team. And we can use them to discuss team dynamics with our colleagues or partners.


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Worked Example

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