Here’s Why We Need Ideators


What Is the IDEATION Theme

Simply put, these are the people in our lives with a passion for ideas.  They love to have far-out thoughts and to play with concepts large and small.  Testing the limits of an idea, finding its branches, and envisioning all the ways that it could be linked to other parts of the world is the work of ideators.  They naturally run with thoughts, often just to see where they go.  Intuitively exploring the connections between things, they have a genuine and productive curiosity.  For them, an idea is a doorway—not an endpoint—it is an entrance to more.  Ideas lead to ideas.  In that way, their world is limitless, interconnected, and highly synaptic.  More than anything, they love to be fascinated and to wonder at things, to be awestruck and mesmerized.  In this way, their thinking is prismatic: imagine clear light entering into their brains and rainbow light coming out in all directions.  For ideators, the ‘point’ is not necessarily to always do something with their thinking—in many cases, simply having an idea is enough for them.  A good idea anchors them to their own inner richness, their sense of self, and their sense of contribution to the world.

Why Should We Care

People with ideation are profoundly creative thinkers, incessant innovators, and productive brainstormers.  When it comes to filling a pipeline with new ideas, connections, and content, we find them enthusiastically engaged and at the ready.  They show us other worlds within our own and they take us out of the status quo.  For ideators, reality, like the cosmos, is infinite, intricately interconnected, and ever-expanding.  They love to see what other ideas are present below the surface and they draw people and organizations out of static thinking.  Their enthusiasm can be contagious—an invitation to see the world through their kaleidoscopic eyes.  By modeling how expansive one’s mind can be, they remind us each of our unique potential.

Ten Things to Know About People with IDEATION

1. Starting Things. Ideators are great at starting things—it is the part of the process that they find most energizing—and it is their gift.  However, as a culture, we are not taught how to value this, and many ideators beat themselves up about “never finishing things.

2. Vetting. They don’t necessarily vet their ideas.  Scrutiny can feel limiting, even claustrophobic for them.  For, they know that a seemingly absurd idea can hold the seed of a brilliant one.

3. Action. All of their ideas are not “to-dos” or “action items”.  Sometimes it’s just thought exploration.

4. Connecting The Dots. In general, they are objectively smart people and their brains work incredibly fast.  They are constantly refining their skill of connecting the dots for others in ways that make sense.

5. Ambiverts. Many ideators are one part introvert, one part extrovert—a combo which accommodates both their enthusiasm and their depth.  They may need to recharge in solitude after a social outing; or, the opposite, they may need stimulation and interaction after a period of isolation.

6. Feelings. Ideators might try to think their feelings instead of feeling them.

7. Sensitivity. Ideas are a source of life for ideators, so shooting them down can feel belittling and utterly toxic to them.  They have zero respect for closed-mindedness.

8. Ideating. Sometimes, they may need to engage in really intense and deep conversations.  It can be a type of nourishment for them.

9. Eccentric. Ideators are at home in deep cerebral waters and spend a lot of time in their imaginations.  They are inclined to bring up unconventional topics in casual conversations.

10. Boredom. They are prone to boredom and may even feel it viscerally as a sensation in their body.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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