Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Are you a Pioneer or a Developer?

I went to a fantastic conference over the weekend and attended a seminar called "Pioneers and Developers working together; leading forwards without blowing up". I've pasted a table from the seminar sheet. It got me thinking, how many people involved in social entrepreneurship are Pioneers and how many are Developers? Often, people are also a combination of the two. Getting the right type of people into an organisation is one of our 8Ps of Powerful Social Innovation.

As a Pioneer, I can relate to many of the characteristics in the first column but also I know that I need many of the qualities in the second column. I know that I need to run quickly and spot opportunities; however, if I don't have someone working with me who can spot the weaknesses and produce quality; staff and our clients are going to either burn out or blow up. Put simply, the impact that we want to have in transforming society won't happen. Pioneers can have a tendency to:
  • be impatient;
  • get bored and be inconsistent; and
  • leave a body count behind them!
Developers also need Pioneers though because they can have a tendency to:
  • want to stay in their comfort zone;
  • can be risk averse; and
  • can have a need to protect people (including themselves) too much.
Do we have a mix of Pioneers and Developers in our organisations? Do we have people who can take ground, but also people who can keep the ground we take? If we don't, our organisations probably won't grow sustainably and we won't have the impact we want; even worse, our organisations might blow up.

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