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Psychometrics Spotlight: The Innovation Potential Indicator


In the latest of our series putting the range of psychometric tests under the spotlight we put the Innovation Potential Indicator through its paces.

Organisations are confronting social, economic, technological and political changes at a more rapid pace than ever before. Competing in an environment where change is the only constant, companies that innovate are better placed in the market to sustain their competitive advantage and to retain their best and brightest employees.

Such organisations are more sustainable; by employing high potential individuals who can drive economic performance, they benefit from higher employee motivation and commitment and periods of organisational change are managed more effectively.

To support this, organisations are seeking ways to identify those innovative individuals that will contribute to their business success. One way of doing this is with the Innovation Potential Indicator, developed by Professor Fiona Patterson. This provides a framework for understanding the behaviours that are known to enhance or impede the realisation of innovation in the workplace.

Whereas creativity is about the conception of new ideas, innovation concerns the implementation of these initiatives and their achievements. The Innovation Potential Indicator, developed relatively recently, was the first test designed to identify the potential to implement innovative ideas in the workplace rather than simply the ability to generate new ideas.

Use of the Innovation Potential Indicator enables companies to make more accurate selection and placement decisions for recruitment and career counselling, to highlight areas for development within individual and group assessment, to develop teams at all levels and to promote change management.

The instrument measures four separate characteristics and behaviours that are indicative of innovation potential, to provide information about an individual’s motivation, interpersonal style, thinking style and flexibility at work. These are:

Motivation to change
This examines an individual’s intrinsic motivation to seek and adopt change. It assesses their readiness to tackle new and previously unsolved problems.

Challenging behaviour
This scale represents the extent to which an individual is comfortable challenging other peoples’ way of thinking and points of view, in order to solve problems at work.

This assesses an individual’s problem solving style. It shows whether they are more likely to try to evolve existing procedures or to aim for originality.

Consistency of work style
This concerns an individual’s approach to work: whether they prefer an organised and structured work environment or one with variety and flexibility. It also examines their attitude towards rules and policies.

Typically, higher levels of innovation are associated with individuals who have the following profile:

High motivation to change
They are likely to have a high intellectual curiosity and be enthusiastic about tackling new and previously unsolved problems.

High challenging behaviour
They are original, non-conforming and socially independent with a desire for work-role autonomy. They tend to be forceful, and challenge others’ points of view in order to reach solutions.

Low adaptation
They seek original solutions to problems and are uninhibited by current practice, preferring to work outside existing structures and making decisions on gut feeling and instinct.

Low consistency of work styles
They welcome variety and utilise a wide range of work styles flexibly. They are comfortable juggling many demands and are not concerned by policies and rules.

For further information, please contact OPP on 08708 728727 or visit the website at

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