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Surrounded by Geniuses: Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Colleagues and Your Organization Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402244843
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402244841
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In business today, it's the soft stuff that leaders discover to be the most difficult, which is one reason behind the onslaught of change-management books. Here's another to add to that shelf, with a slightly different spin from a slightly different type of expert-consultant. The angle is that it is possible to nurture an internal culture of innovation and creativity by looking carefully at 10 companies and products, ranging from L. L. Bean to Spider-Man. The author is a Washington, D.C., consultant-writer (Lessons from the Sandbox, 2000) whose career includes mapmaker and subway mechanic. Gregerman's point of view—that we all have the potential to be geniuses—is introduced via examples; the Ritz-Carlton chain, for instance, underscores the importance of paying careful attention to customer requests. Seinfeld's old TV show, on the other hand, talks about the criticality of getting all the little things right. These stories are followed by the practical applications for corporate America—in terms of individuals, managers, and organizations. Jacobs, Barbara --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author



Dr. Alan S. Gregerman is the founder and president of Venture Works, Inc., a consulting firm based in the Washington, DC area, working with clients such as Marriott, Lockheed Martin, CitiGroup, and Verizon. He is a nationally known expert on business strategy and innovation. He is the author of Lessons from the Sandbox, and lives in Washington DC.

More About the Author

Alan Gregerman is the President and Chief Innovation Officer of VENTURE WORKS Inc. and an award-winning and best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." An internationally-renowned authority on business strategy, innovation, and the hidden potential of adults, his work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers. His three books--"The Necessity of Strangers," "Surrounded by Geniuses," and "Lessons from the Sandbox"--break the mold by challenging our thinking about people, the world around us, what it means to be remarkable, and where brilliant ideas actually come from. He's also the author of the critically-acclaimed "Surrounded by Geniuses" blog.

Fun Facts: Trained as a geographer, Alan has also worked as a mapmaker, subway mechanic, hotel housekeeper, and as the first Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Library of Congress. And he still dreams of someday playing professional basketball even though he's relatively short and exceedingly slow.

Please feel free to connect with me on:

Twitter at www.twitter.com/alan_gregerman

Facebook at www.facebook.com/agregerman

Or email at innovate@venture-works.com

Customer Reviews

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Dr. Gregerman's book was an easy yet very interesting read.
Frank C. Hollister
In his new book, Surrounded By Geniuses, Dr. Gregerman provides us all with an innovative, strategic and healthy way to approach work and life!
Virginia Mayer
Dr. Gregerman also makes it actionable to the reader by suggesting exercises to reinforce the ideas.
David Goodwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Piatt on October 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Gregerman takes us well beyond the box by getting his readers to think well beyond their current worlds. By focusing on what makes great organizations truly exceptional, without regard to industry, he challenges us to think in truly creative ways about our own. Surrounded by Geniuses is an unusual combination of being both an easy read and quite intellectually stimulating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Bode on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Surrounded By GeniusesDr. Alan Greerman has done it again. He has slashed through the usual heavy rhetoric of management theory with insightful, exciting suggestions for making business management work better. Buy it, read it,learn from it...this book is a quick and stimulating way to inspire you to be a more productive and organized manager.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Stephens on October 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
No sooner had I begun "Surrounded by Geniuses" than I found myself looking around with a more keen sense of observation, framed by Gregerman's suggested lens of "What are they doing that makes them uniquely successful, and how might that apply to me?" Not only does Gregerman inspire that kind of proactive observation, he also does an excellent job of providing case studies of his work observing stellar performance and distilling from that concepts and guidelines we can use in our own context.

In my work as an organization development consultant and leadership coach, I support organizations as they grapple with the reality that change is mandatory, but growth is optional. Always welcome are ideas for infusing a growth and "what's the opportunity here" mentality into the uncertain and often frightening world of organizational and personal change.

And, when it comes down to it, there is no greater opportunity than more fully being in the moments we live, having more engaged conversations, and really seeing the outstanding performance--and genius--that surrounds us. After all, there is never nothing going on out there. We just need more gentle pushes, like Gregerman's book, to help us remember that and point the way to better seeing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joel A. Marks on August 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Alan Gregerman's new book, Surrounded by Geniuses. I'm an Alan Gregerman fan! In this refreshing book, he urges us to rediscover how powerful curiosity can be and to turn it into a real competitive advantage. Remember field trips -- the joy of leaving school for a day long adventure. Alan Gregerman recommends field trips to improve our organizations and the customer value we deliver. Not brainstorming where we sit around a table and suggest incremental improvements based on our common experience at work. Not benchmarking against the best in our own industry. No, Alan Gregerman is recommending that we unlock the everyday genius in each of us by changing the context of our exploration. As he puts it, we can find "the inspiration to do remarkable things everywhere." How often do you read a business book with chapters on Spider-Man and Seinfeld? Enjoy the trip! You'll have a good time reading and you will be surprised at your new insights. Are you surrounded by geniuses?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charbel H. Tagher on October 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is easy to read, easy to relate to, and such a nice mind opener! How can you not like the great case studies that Dr. Gregerman provides, and fail to be inspired by them? And don't tell me you can't relate to the very specific examples of the torture that so many companies subject us to? Kudos to Dr. Gregerman for mentioning them by name...

But what I liked most about this book is that Dr. Gregerman is action oriented. Contrary to many other books that wow you then leave you dreaming, he provides a section at the end of each chapter about where to go from here, and how to conduct your own research.

Thanks, Dr. Gregerman! Great job!

Charbel Tagher
President, Specified Technologies Inc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Mayer on October 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In his new book, Surrounded By Geniuses, Dr. Gregerman provides us all with an innovative, strategic and healthy way to approach work and life! Just imagine if when discussing our place of work we were to say "it's a place filled with brilliant ideas, unlimited sources of inspiration and endless possibilities." That would be amazing! Dr. Gregerman shows us how to unlock this genius and make it a reality. This is an excellent book for public and private sector executives - illustrating what it takes for organizations to innovate, grow and succeed in difficult times. And it's perfect for those who don't want to settle for the ordinary in life - but rather pursue the extraordinary!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Both business libraries and college-level collections strong in leadership books will welcome SURROUNDED BY GENIUSES: UNLOCKING THE BRILLIANCE IN YOURSELF, YOUR COLLEAGUES AND YOUR ORGANIZATION. It advocates learning about the 'hidden genius' person in us all and using both individual and collective 'genius' to strengthen an organization and deliver more effective products and resources to its customers. Chapters show how to uncover, unlock and apply this genius and use insights from various genres both historical and psychological to back up ideas with examples from real-world experiences. Businesses seeking new approaches will find it enlightening.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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