Recently, my fascination is observing how people work together. Everyone eventually finds their niche within their companies. Those who do not move on until they find a comfort zone. The way I see it is that there are three types of workers. First, the Inventors create ideas and usually follow them into fruition. These people create the budgets, dream the big ideas (then knock them down to a manageable size), or even see flaws within a current project and tell the responsible party. They are always questioning or looking for bigger, better, or new projects to work on and hold the, “Just get it done!” attitude. This doesn’t mean that by nature these workers are transient; in fact, as long as the work is challenging and they feel needed and rewarded, they will stay with the same company for years (as with most employees).
The next classification is Improvers. They tend to come into an existing situation where the inventors laid a foundation, and they are brought in to improve the product or idea. Improvers change what needs to be updated to make the system work better, then move on to a new project. They aren’t as creative as Inventors, but tend to find information, equipment, or procedures already in use another place, combine them, and generally improve conditions in which they work. These worker are the most restless, preferring to always have a new toy with which to tinker.
Finally, the Maintainers take over. Their title is exactly as described. Once the system is in place and working efficiently, this type of worker takes over to keep it running smoothly. They may tweak pieces on occasion, but prefer a routine or system. Many times, documentation and record keeping fall to these people. They are the oil in the machine.
Most workers find themselves consistently in one of these three categories, but may modify their role if careers or jobs change. There are also people who find themselves stuck in dual roles, or in that grey area between roles depending on the task. The Inventor, Improver, and Maintainer need to work together to keep any project running. It is a delicate balance of which every work place supervisor need to be aware.