I was wondering what to call those people in our organisations who come up with the creative and left-field ideas. Belbin used the term “Plant” but I have discovered that this term does not seem to resonate much in the US. Malcolm Gladwell in “The Tipping Point” user the term Mavens to describe those who are ” intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends” (from Wikipedia) though I not sure this quite sums up what I am looking for. “Innovators” is not right as the scope of innovation goes well beyond the pure creative part.
By being able to name the role, we are halfway to identifying those who can fulfill it and maybe recognise some talent already in place in your organisation whose contributions are going unnoticed currently.
Ideas on a postcard 🙂