Where do you sit on Mintzberg's art, science, craft triangle?

14 Nov 2019

14 Nov 2019

To assess your personal style in terms of art, science and craft, try this simple diagnostic, developed by Henry Mintzberg with Beverly Patwell in 2008. 

It shows a range of possible management styles and approaches based on his art-craft-science triangle. 

  • On each row of the table below, circle the word that best describes your own management style
  • When you are finished, add up how many you have circled in each of the three columns.
  • Then plot your answers onto the art-craft-science triangle.

The first column represents art, the second craft, the third science.

Think about how your scores compare with some of the common styles identified by Mintzberg and Patwell on their version of the triangle: 

The Heroic Style: an all-knowing, all-powerful person who figures everything out, sets everything in motion, makes sure everything gets done; in short, a hero.

The Visionary Style: frequently associated with entrepreneurs, this is a style based on creativity, but solidly rooted in experience. This style is often associated with charismatic and dramatic personalities.

The Problem-solving Style: a strong blend of analysis (science) and experience (craft) with some reliance on insights (art). This is a common style among first line operating managers, foremen, supervisors and project managers.

The Engaging Style:  based on a blend of mostly craft with some art thrown in and enough science to provide a reality check. People who practice this style engage in coaching, mentoring and facilitating in a business context they know from deep, first-hand experience.

Q: How might you adapt your default style to create Mintzberg’s “dynamic balance”?

Q: What practical things might you do to work on this? 


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