The one-sentence summary
There is a better way to understand your gifts, your frustrations, and how to interact as a team.
Can’t be bothered to read it? Too much screen time lately? Listen to the 5-minute podcast in two parts.
- This is a model to help people identify the type of work that brings them joy and energy – and avoid work that leads to frustration and burnout. It gives teams a simple and practical framework for tapping into one another’s natural gifts, which increases productivity and reduces unnecessary judgement.
- The six types of ‘genius’ are encapsulated in the acronym WIDGET:
- Wonder. This involves the ability to ponder and speculate and question the state of things, asking the questions that provoke answers and action.
- Invention. Coming up with new ideas and solutions, drawn toward origination, creativity and ingenuity.
- Discernment. Related to instinct, intuition and uncanny judgement, this is a natural ability to assess an idea or situation even without a lot of data or expertise.
- Galvanizing. Rallying, motivating and provoking people to take action on an idea or initiative.
- Enablement. Providing people support and assistance in the way that it is needed, being adept at responding to the needs of others without conditions or restrictions.
- Tenacity. The satisfaction of pushing things across the finish line to completion, conquering obstacles and completing according to the required specification.
- No single person can claim all six as their individual geniuses. Most of us have two as working genius, a couple more that we are competent at but neither love nor hate, and two that we find frustrating, draining us of joy and energy.
- The first three are mainly responsive, and the last three are disruptive.
- The model enables you to assess yourself, your colleagues do the same, and then whole teams can be examined to see if they have the right combination of skills.
- The first two (wonder and invention) are part of ideation, the next two (discernment and galvanizing) are about activation, and the last two (enablement and tenacity) are about implementation.
- Viewed sequentially, high level ‘30,000 feet’ thinking gets closer and closer to the ground as a project reaches completion.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Having these skills and enacting all six steps leads to better work all round. Many companies and teams jump from invention to implementation and then wonder why things were not properly done or only partially successful.
- The model can be used ‘in reverse’, examining the lack of any of the six talents in a team. This is what might happen as a result:
- Failure to ponder what is really going on.
- Inability to come up with new ways of solving problems.
- Over-reliance on data and a lack of judgement to aid clear decision-making.
- Many ideas, but little execution or enthusiasm to enact them.
- No one pitching in to help, a lack of glue in the team.
- Failure to finish projects competently.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- As always with this author, the majority of the book is a fictional story, or ‘fable’, that dramatizes the model at the end. There is a strong emphasis on church matters which some may find somewhat distracting, and some of the outcomes in the storyline are rather fanciful.