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Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration Paperback – March 4, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class
I can't stop thinking and talking about Group Genius. It's filled with insightful nuggets--from improvisational theater to the advent of Monopoly to Impressionist painting to the invention of the mountain bike--about teams and the creative process. Whether shedding new light on brainstorming or exploring the subtleties of language, Sawyer made me see creativity in a whole new way.
Ori Brafman, author of The Starfish and the Spider
In this book about how it feels when groups perform well, Professor Sawyer gives us a fascinating account of human experience at its best.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow
Keith Sawyer has emerged as the world's leading scholar on innovative, collaborative creativity. Sawyer is that rare scholar who has also been there in the start- ups and the jazz joints and the improv meccas. He is a consummate story teller and a sure handed guide to the secrets of success in the ever changing global marketplace. Group Genius is essential reading for anyone who competes in that marketplace.
David Henry Feldman, Professor of Child Development, Tufts University
Group Genius is a lighthouse of a book. It sheds light on knowledge that has always been there but slightly in the dark. The arrival of crowdsourcing is further proof of the extreme validity of Keith Sawyer's thesis. Ideas no longer come from some guy in a garage, they come from the meeting of 6 billion minds.
Alasdhair Macgregor-Hastie, Executive Creative Director at Publicis
So you think that every creative breakthrough is the brainchild of a single lone genius? Think again. Using both scientific research and specific examples, Keith Sawyer makes the strongest possible case for the creativity of collaborative groups.
Dr. Dean Keith Simonton, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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 (I bet he got some of his information from the classic The Practice of Creativity: A Manual for Dynamic Group Problem-Solving).
I'd love to see people work more collaboratively, but it won't be easy. There needs to be a big paradigm shift, which if this book reaches the masses, would make for a better future!
There have been a few books recently that have challenged the commonly held beliefs and myths of innovation. Keith Sawyer; professor of psychology at Washington University in St Louis; tackles probably the most prevalent innovation myth, the lone genius. He has written a fascinating book on the power of collaboration and how it is the secret to breakthrough creativity. This book joins a small group of my favorite books on innovation; How Breakthroughs Happen, Medici Effect, The Act of Creation and The Art of Innovation. Sawyer has written a very practical book that is based on some solid scientific research.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested innovation and wants a practical framework for infusing an innovative culture throughout their company. The book is definitely aimed at a general business audience but provides enough depth into the background research to make the practical advice more meaningful. It is a very fine line Sawyer has walked with the creation of this book and I applaud him on a job well done. This is by no means a simple `how to' book, it is far more. Great writing, great ideas and if you act upon it you will get great results!!
Sawyer has spent the last 15 years researching and studying creativity, he worked with Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi on the research behind `Flow - the science of optimal experience'. He approached his research into creativity with a similar scientific approach using indirect and direct techniques to understand the brain in action. He focused on a subject close to his heart, Jazz. Sawyer has been playing Jazz since his college days and he realized that there was some real creativity at work in jazz performances.Read more ›
Here is a brief excerpt which correctly indicates one of Keith Sawyer's core concepts: "In both an improv group and a successful work team, the members play off one another, each person's contributions providing the spark for the next. Together, the improvisational team creates a novel emergent product, one that's more responsive to the changing environment and [key point] better than what anyone could have developed alone. Improvisational teams are the building blocks of innovative organizations, and organizations that can successfully build improvisational teams will be more likely to innovate effectively.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Worthwhile read for educators seeking to understand how to develop Innovators. I also read Creating Innovators. The two coupled together are quite insightful. Heard Dr. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mary G. Schoonmaker
Theoretically, it's a sound book. But it was mired down by too many examples, making it quite boring for anyone looking for a more complex look into the cognitive science of groups... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Courtney Tobin
I was asked to order several books for review for adoption next year. Since these were specifically requested, the faculty member knew what he wanted.Published 16 months ago by Martha E. Mincey
I was about to buy this book, but then I heard an interview with the author about his book on the radio (NPR, I think). Read morePublished 24 months ago by Brooklyn resident
I am a teacher developing and implementing new systems for evaluation, professional development and teacher leadership through teacher-led collaborative work groups. Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by Karen K. Green