Teamwork Complex: Pluto
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The "Pluto Complex"

The Pluto Complex occurs when the team overuse the Innovator team role.

Healthy use

When used appropriately, the Innovator team role is used to create new and different ideas and perspectives. Innovators observe the world around them and then use their imaginations to consider what they have observed from a number of different perspectives, and dream up new ideas and insights. Innovators often produce radical solutions to problems and demonstrate an apparent understanding of the unknown (eg: having a long-term vision of the future, being able to imagine what might be happening elsewhere today, or having inexplicable insight into past events).

Excessive use

If the Innovator team role is used to excess, however, and Group-Think sets in, then the team starts to imagine things that are somewhat detached from reality. They may develop ideas or a long-term vision that may be grandiose and unrealistic. They may suggest things that, to those outside the team, seem unrelated to the team's current objectives or that may simply be unachievable. They start to imagine that they understand things that are happening or likely to happen elsewhere, but objective observers recognise that such views do not agree with the known facts.

The complex is given the name "Pluto" because other people may think the team are 'on a different planet'.


Complexes can be very difficult to deal with. See our general page on Complexes for more information.

A good facilitator or consultant can help the team in various ways, such as:

Psychology Footnote

The Pluto Complex results from rigidity in the team's use of introverted iNtuition.

See all sixteen team complexes.

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