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Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
     

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration

3.5 2
by Keith Sawyer
 

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Creativity has long been thought to be an individual gift, best pursued alone; schools, organizations, and whole industries are built on this idea. But what if the most common beliefs about how creativity works are wrong? Group Genius tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity, revealing that creativity is always collaborative-even when

Overview

Creativity has long been thought to be an individual gift, best pursued alone; schools, organizations, and whole industries are built on this idea. But what if the most common beliefs about how creativity works are wrong? Group Genius tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity, revealing that creativity is always collaborative-even when you're alone. Sharing the results of his own acclaimed research on jazz groups, theater ensembles, and conversation analysis, Keith Sawyer shows us how to be more creative in collaborative group settings, how to change organizational dynamics for the better, and how to tap into our own reserves of creativity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Forget about "the myth of the solitary genius": collaborative effort generates ideas and inventions, says this useful, upbeat book about how "innovation always emerges from a series of sparks-never a single flash of insight." Judiciously wielding exercises and dozens of examples, Sawyer (Explaining Creativity) helps the reader understand how people think and function in and out of groups. He looks at how J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis composed their epic novels in concert, how unorganized individuals can come together to provide disaster relief more efficiently than government planners, how Charles Darwin and Samuel Morse built their work on others' discoveries, how information sharing helped Silicon Valley beat out Boston's computer startups. (Sawyer's riffs on jazz ensembles and improv comedy as sites of ingenuity are less convincing.) Basing much of his work on that of mentor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi-who writes about reaching the state of heightened consciousness he calls "flow"-Sawyer offers guidelines for creating "group flow." Insisting that "collaborative webs are more important than creative people," he calls for an "organizational culture that fosters equivocality, improvised innovation, and constant conversation-that's a recipe for group genius." Even if few readers are in a position to do away with their organizational chart, this is a solid recipe for "unexpected innovation." (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465008247
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
03/04/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,104,263
File size:
552 KB

Meet the Author

Keith Sawyer is an associate professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of the textbook Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, has designed video games for Atari, and lectures frequently to both academic and business audiences. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
Many of the world’s greatest innovations are tied to the names of famous people – like Mozart, Einstein, JRR Tolkien, and Steve Jobs. They’re the geniuses, right? What is often overlooked is the community that nurtured the individuals and provided the conversation and collaboration necessary to develop their ideas. As you may have guessed, this book explores the genius of groups. Author Keith Sawyer believes that it is collaborative process, not simply the Aha! moment that holds the key to true creativity and innovation. In Group Genius, Sawyer explores how collaboration sparks the trail of ideas that eventually lead to innovation. He shares his passion for jazz and improvisational theatre as examples of how people build off each other and create products that are better than could ever been done alone. I’ve experienced this and it’s beautiful. What I found exceptionally interesting was how authors like JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis depended on the culture fostered by their university to create their masterpieces. Not much a writer, I had previously thought of that realm of expression as very solitary. I think many people would find this book fascinating. People who are interested in creativity may really benefit from the practical framework he offers to infuse an innovative culture throughout their company. On the basis of his extensive research since the 1990s, Sawyer has identified seven key characteristics of effective teams, but prepare for some hard truths and big changes! I’d love to see people work more collaboratively…. I hope the message of this book is shared with many. There are plenty of examples of how it will make for a better future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago