I've just finished reading Living With A Creative Mind. An amazing book, which you can check out here: http://livingwithacreativemind.com/ At some point, I'll look into it a bit more in-depth. For now, however, I just want to look into one thing that they looked at.
In their chapter called Collaboration, they mention that they have repeatedly observed different roles emerging within collaborative groups. These are detailed below, exactly as written. (Taken from "Collaborating", Living With A Creative Mind, Jeff Crabtree and Julie Crabtree [Zebra Collective, Manly; 2011].)
A problem-solver. Always says no at first, then thinks about how it can be done and provides the method and the details. Takes pride in the achievement of the impossible. May be frustrating to work with - they cannot be hurried. They work at their own pace. (Schematic thought, insulated sense, zoom focus, order space and safety action.)
The Blue Sky Thinker
Thinks of things no one else thinks of. A lot of suggestions and ideas will be totally impractical, impossible and unrelated, but perhaps one in every five or six is brilliant. You just need to be patient and not come down too heavily on the awful ideas. (Confronting attitude, fluid thought, wide angle focus, chaos space and risk action.)
This person is the one who feels the pain of others and tries to empower everyone in the group. A peacemaker, a negotiator and the one who reminds everybody that they are better off stuck together than falling apart. Keeps everyone on track and sometimes may contribute nothing more than this. May not even see themselves as creative - but they are essential to the creative process. (Deflated ego, conforming attitude, skinless sense, order space and safety action.)
The Devil's Advocate
Always asks the questions no one wants to hear. Identifies where the group is going wrong and is fearless enough to put it out there. May appear difficult to please. Doesn't necessarily have the answers - just the questions. (Inflated ego, confronting attitude, schematic thought, order space and safety action.)
Throws in a bomb. Blows up everything and changes the game. Destructive to old mindsets and habits. In the aftermath we discover how creatively potent this kind of person can be. (Inflated ego, confronting attitude, wide angle focus, chaos space, risk action and intense emotion.)
Everything is a game. The whole thing is just like a little kid playing in the garden, full of fun and frivolity. May frustrate others in the group. Willing to try anything. Can easily revert to childlike states of distress. (Fluid thought, skinless sense, wide angle focus, chaos space and intense emotion.)
The visible personification of success - a spokesman, a persona, someone the public and the media can identify. May have no other role. (Inflated ego and risk action.)
Can see the big picture. Capable of getting a huge idea - but may have absolutely no idea of how to realise it. (Inflated ego, fluid thought, wide angle focus, manic energy and risk action.)
This person is always the naughty one; the comedian or the troublemaker. Says the things the rest of the group think privately but are too afraid to say out loud. Constantly breaches social conventions. (Inflated ego, confronting attitude, fluid thought, wide angle focus, risk action and intense emotion.)
Is always standing up for ideological or artistic integrity. When others are willing to try anything, this person will always resist ideas that take the group away from what have been the core values. (Inflated ego, conforming attitude, schematic thought, zoom focus, order space and safety action.)
Is able to communicate effectively with colleagues outside the creative group and speak on behalf of it. Acts as an intermediary, particularly with business holders and financiers. (Deflated ego, conforming attitude, schematic thought, insulated sense, wide angle focus, safety action and calm emotion.)If you're still here, good job! That was a fair bit to get through. The bits in italics are to do with their nine dimensions of a creative mind; ego, attitude, thought, sense, focus, emotion, energy, space and action. If you want to find out more about those, again, their book is amazing, even just for that. Link up top.
I think that the roles given above are a really good summary of what can be found within a creative framework; and often, within most group settings. Now, as they also mention shortly afterwards, people can be more than one of those roles quite easily. I've been most of those roles at some point or another. Generally speaking, I'm some combination of the Child, the Visionary, and the Purist. But then I have bits from the Technician, the Glue, the Devil's Advocate, the Interpreter, the Blue Sky Thinker and even the Joker now and then.
But yeah, thought this would be good to put up for other to people to think about what sort of roles they fit, and what roles other people fit; and maybe making working in a group that little bit easier, because you understand a bit better how that works.