Journey to GeniusResearch

Competing values

Success is a team sport!  If you want to be successful play nice with others and one of the many challenges is your team members are different to you. 

In their work in the 1990’s on Company culture  Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron developed the Competing values Framework. 

Analyzing indicators of effectiveness for organizations, Cameron and Quinn found two polarities by statistical analysis of values and organizational effectiveness. 

  • Internal focus and integration – or –  External focus and differentiation
  • Stability and control – or – Flexibility and discretion

They identified these as competing values so most of the time one is dominant. Plotting those two dimensions in a matrix, defines the Competing Values Framework. Its four quadrants correspond with four Organizational Culture Types  – Clan/Adhocracy/Hierarchy/Market that differ strongly on these two dimensions or four values.

The team at Innavatrium adapt this competing values approach to catalyze innovation. By embracing diversity and introducing constructive conflict ( working with people who think differently) the CVF is at the core of their collaborations . In this construct the four Zones of Genius  – thinking styles are more obvious.

  • Visionary – Do new things
  • Builder – Do things now / fast
  • Architect – Do things right
  • Cultivator – Do things together that last.

In setting your team and collaborations up for success this is why we encourage everyone to know more clearly how they think and collaborate to make the most of these natural talents and conflicts in your team.

The powerful way we see in the development of ideas and ultimately releasing their full potential is to prioritize differently during the vision quest and venture quest phase. Let both competing mindsets and openness by you guide on the journey to genius.

Do new things – Do Right things – Do them now and Do things that last.


My thanks to OCAI, Tool hero, and Innovatrium for publicly sharing your insights into this subject and if you want to learn more I encourage you to explore their different perspectives.