Entrepreneurial Zone of Genius.
The quiz and the original website about our Zone of Genius – Thinking style research continues to live at its home on the web. www.myezog.com
Why we called it ‘EZOG’ came from our desire to help entrepreneurs and express our entrepreneurial practical approach and not present this as academic research. Over time with feedback and reflection we understand this ‘thinking Style’ assessment is applicable to a large population and continue to encourage as many people to take it as possible. In the Blog we will share our learning over time and below is how we initially presented our tool to our early adopters around the globe.
This journey started in 2007. With guess what? An idea! Understanding that entrepreneurs predominantly create from one core style was the hypothesis that Brian Tsuchiya (linkedIn) wrote in his diaries and only started explaining to others at the beginning of 2011. After intensive research, including over 100 one-on-one, one- hour interviews, we confirmed there are four predominant natural attitudes, which we refer to as EZOG styles and have labeled:
Visionary: The Visionary uses their thinking and creative style to envision the future, and generate opportunities.They use their passion and intuition to sense solutions, and connected to their inner self express what they see as obvious.Brilliance:To live in their EZOG they need to surround themselves with other styles so their visions can be realized.Working with Architects to structure the project, and then Builders / Cultivators to implement it.Blind spots:The blind-spots for the Visionary are lack of follow through as they quickly have another good idea. Structured activity is tedious, and their insecurity often leaves them working alone or engaging just other visionaries.
Architect: The Architect uses their thinking and creative style to define concepts and design functional solutions.They often adopt an analytical approach using their intellect and logic to bring clarity to complexity and simplify the complicated.Brilliance:To live in their EZOG they need to surround themselves with other styles, especially cultivators who can launch and scale the venture that they have cleverly designed.Blind spots:The blind-spots for the Architect style are over thinking a situation and problem, tinkering at the expense of progress. A ‘lean’ approach is difficult to accept and yet a door way to success. They often create too many concepts and isolate themselves by their ‘I know best’ attitude.
Builder: The Builder uses their thinking and creative style to continuously improve, standing still is no an option for them. Using strategy and tactics they integrate different elements and stitch the venture together by making things happen.Brilliance:To live in their EZOG they need to surround themselves with other styles especially Visionaries who can help them clarify the purpose. They also nee big projects, focused on getting the right things done right and their high level of energy and activity will quickly launch a venture.Blind spots:The blind-spots for the Builder style are over commitment and activity, just focused on performance without a clear plan. Their tendency can be to start lots of new, poorly connected projects, that lack innovation or a clear purpose.
Cultivator: The Cultivator uses their thinking and creative style to help, especially integrating the people with the project. They make good leaders and their ‘servant’ style brings out the best in those around them.Brilliance:To live in their EZOG they need to surround themselves with people. Alone they achieve very little and yet their ability to connect with, and motivate others, is their route to success.Blind spots:The blind-spots for the Cultivator are they are people pleasers, avoid conflict, and assume integrity in others. They are overly confident in their ability and try do it themselves rather than engage and support others.
We refer to them as EZOG thinking styles. Initially to support and validate our research we used a combination of Myers-Briggs testing, research about personality types and traits, and the alpha EZOG assessment tool. We also held panel discussion by EZOG style type, to get a clearer structure of the brilliance and blind spots of each style, which combined with the original interview data, gave us a very much clearer picture of the Entrepreneurial thinking style landscape.
In ongoing analysis we have established that 60-70% of our participants have one dominant EZOG style and ~30% of the others have a combination of 2 dominant zones, and 5% have a solid combination of all four thinking styles. We have found that most entrepreneurs have a strong inclination to work in their natural EZOG, although they may be ‘working’ another one. Your EZOG is not what you can do—rather, it’s much more what you are doing when things just seem to ‘naturally flow.’
We embarked now on the beta phase with 25 questions and an average processing time of 12 minutes, we continue to be immensely grateful to the now thousands of entrepreneurs who continue to invest their time and energy to simultaneously help themselves and us. Helping them discover and work in their zone of genius is a worthy goal and we are continually committed to keeping the EZOG assessment free. (any and all help welcome, especially from any talented ruby programmers who can bring the site upto date)
We are all entrepreneurs of life, seeking out new opportunities making the best of the ones we have and setting out our stall – from your facebook profile to your wardrobe you are making choices about how to present yourself at your best, these are core entrepreneurial traits.
We all have a Zone of Genius and although the original assessment uses language to align with ‘entrepreneurs and startups’ it can be used by you and everyone. If you find identifying with the entrepreneur in you difficult look for a simple alternative to the question see below.
Question one: My passion as an entrepreneur is to ?
Becomes: My passion in life is to.
Question two: As an entrepreneur I most value my?
Becomes: My talents I most value are?
And for all the questions if you simply order the responses in the most to least order for you and your values, you will get a useful result.
We are always excited to discuss opportunities to improve and expand the scope of our research and tools — please contact us.