Summary of Group Genius

The Creative Power of Collaboration

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Group Genius book summary
The old adage turns out to be true: None of us is as smart as all of us.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


As befits its subject matter, this is a lively and innovative book, which uses many examples drawn from the worlds of jazz and improvisational theater, as well as from creative writing, cycling, banking and computer technology. Keith Sawyer doesn’t stop at telling stories, though; he also supports his ideas with solid evidence. In well-organized chapters, complete with summaries and checklists, he debunks common beliefs about the nature of creativity – primarily, the myth that you need to be an isolated genius to succeed. Instead, he argues that innovation is most often the result of collaboration. Sawyer overreaches in some instances. He does not fully explain why some individuals are so much more creative than others in the same “collaborative web,” or why others can produce revolutionary ideas in relative isolation. However, that’s a quibble, since Sawyer tackles a complex and slippery topic, and comes up with some genuinely new insights. getAbstract recommends this book to managers and members of workplace teams, and to executives who wish to encourage creative thinking.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why innovation is usually a collaborative process
  • How people can work together to create new ideas
  • How to make your organization more creative


“The Collaborative Team”
The classic image of creative genius is the thinker who, working alone, comes up with an idea that revolutionizes the world (or at least his, or occasionally her, discipline).

That image is a myth. Instead, most breakthroughs are the products of...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes.

About the Author

Keith Sawyer, associate professor of psychology at Washington University, is the author of Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    To achieve a sum that is greater than its mental parts, put the power of collective creativity to work.

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