Excerpting from that MBTI® manual, “the purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.”
There are 16 personality types defined by the Myers-Briggs evaluation tool. They are formed from four pairs of personality traits. In summary they are:
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
These personality traits are important to deliberately match or mismatch when conducting brainstorming sessions or building project teams. The general guideline for Innovation Organization’s is to put as much Myers-Briggs diversity as possible into a team or decision-making group, with the caveat that the team must still be able to work congenially with one another. Increasing an organization’s capability to function with diverse project and management teams is enhanced by training sessions focused on building individual understanding that one thinking style is not better or worse than another, just different.
A deep dive into the nuances of Myers-Briggs evaluations is not the purpose of this work. It is strongly recommended that all R&D leaders become well-versed in understanding the utility of this tool.