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A psychometric instrument to assess cognitive styles of adaptation and innovation

If you want to know which of your lawyers will be content to modify existing practices and which will propose to overthrow those practices for something new, have them take the Kirton Adaption-Innovation (KAI) Inventory. Additional background on the KAI is at a website.

After your lawyers respond to 33 statements with answers from very easy to very hard, a certified KAI facilitator will characterize the person’s cognitive style. This is further described in David Silverstein, Philip Samuel, and Neil DeCarlo, The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth (Wiley 2009) at 54. (See my post of Nov. 9, 2007: psychometric tests with 17 references.).

The book suggests that teams be created of people with similar KAI scores, assigned to develop solutions to a specific problem, and then you and they can compare the two styles and approaches: tinkerers and revolutionaries.

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