With baseball season underway, I was thinking about what the starting lineup might look like for a winning creative team if you were limited to nine starting players. If you had the limitation (or maybe the luxury) of nine roles to assign, what nine creative team members would you have in the starting lineup for your creative project? In what order would you have your winning creative team members listed?

Starting Lineup for a Winning Creative Team

Baseball-PlayerI’m not sure this starting lineup would look the same mid-project as it does at the beginning or end, but on opening day for a creative project, here are the nine positions I’d want on my winning creative team:

1. The Upbeat Person

People who embody a positive attitude are exactly what a creative team will need during challenging times when a positive attitude is the last thing on anyone’s mind. An upbeat person is slotted in the lead off spot for a strong start to a winning creative effort.

2. A Servant Leader

Individuals with strong servant leader orientations instinctively look at opportunities and issues from an outside-in perspective, putting others’ interests first. A servant leader can advance and enhance creativity from others in meaningful and productive ways.

3. The Doodler

If someone is a natural doodler, especially of cartoonish-looking doodles, you can tap them for their visual thinking and expression skills. This is the spot to make something happen early on in the creative process.

4. An Event Person

People who have event production backgrounds are strong at anticipating what might happen and translating the empty space between now and a future event into scheduled steps someone has to do. You want them right the heart of your creative team starting lineup to bridge the early creative ideas to what they may become and how they’ll get there!

5. The Socializer

If someone on your creative team excels at making connections with others, they’ll be able to take the steps to reach out and secure the various types of participation the creative team will need from outside itself.

6.  A “Math and Music” Person

Those people who have aptitudes in both music and math bring a natural whole-brain thinking perspective to the creative team. As you make the case for moving forward and seeing impact from your creative efforts, you want a strong switcher hitter to see both the creative and analytical sides depending on what the creative team needs.

7. The Instigator

Further down the creative team starting lineup you want to make sure there is someone who is all about making things happen – no matter what. It will be the instigator who gives you the push to go from creative thinking to sustained creative action.

8. The Person Who Is Good with Words

Someone has to turns creative ideas and concepts into words so they can be shared with others. Plus deciding on the words to describe your creative team’s work will stretch and challenge your creative thinking as well.

9. A Quiet Thinker

The person who doesn’t say much most of the time because they’re thinking about things on multiple paths will identify the issues and opportunities the team needs to consider. Putting the quiet thinker at the end of the starting lineup gives them time to think and be ready when needed.

What would the starting lineup look like for your winning creative team?

What other types of players would you have in your starting lineup? And would your lineup vary based on whether it was early or late in the creative season? – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5 Responses to “Starting Lineup for a Winning Creative Team”

  1. Great list, Mike! ‘The Comedian’ is the only addition I’d suggest. Comedy is a good stress buster (stress saps creativity).

    • Mike Brown says:

      Great addition, Stephen! Maybe the Comedian is the designated hitter? They don’t need to be on the field all the time, but you definitely have to have the comedian to increase the team’s creative production.

  2. Marysia says:

    Great article, never thought of the ‘maths and music person’ but you have described me perfectly ;-). Of course most of us startups are probably 3 or 4 of these roles, but its good to think regarding what a creative team (even if its just you) is missing.. so a useful list.


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