A descriptive study of the innovation team personality profiles of selected companies in the Durban region.
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Innovation is a necessity, not a nicety - but many companies still think of innovation as being important rather than urgent. For innovation to be successful, it requires different behaviours and new ways of thinking. It is fundamentally a human activity; hence the people that make innovation a reality are the inner workings of this process. In this study, a measurement tool has been designed to assess the different types of personalities that exist in new product development teams. A model has also been proposed. This model classifies the different personalities according to their dominant traits. It was derived from a tool that is well known within many innovation driven organisations: the model for assessing brand personalities that is very similar to the Heylen model. Using this model, a new model is proposed for the assessment of individual personalities. The individual personality types were established and the overall team structure was examined to determine if diverse personality innovation teams have any correlation with the perceived output of innovation. This study served the purpose of determining if this relationship exists as well as introducing a new model for the classification of different personality types. Three companies within the Durban region were selected and upon investigation it was learned that there does exist a relationship between diverse personality innovation teams and the perceived output of the process. It was learned that diversity does contribute to the measured innovation output. There were four different personality types classified. It was established that too many of one or more type of personality (e.g. originators or effectors) or the lack of other types (in this case motivators) in a new product development team hinders the optimal output of the process i.e. it effectively delays innovation and a valuable market offering since the abundant personality types dominate with their respective functions and inhibit other critical functions for the innovation journey to run smoothly. Effective innovation is about each personality type adding his/her contribution to the process. In this study it was established that not many motivators were identified in teams and an increase in originators and effectors correlated with a decrease in perceived innovation output. Each team member exists in a team at the opportunity cost of another, and it is essential that the right mix of personalities be present for effective innovation.