Summary of Group Genius
Copyright © 2007 by Keith Sawyer. Published by Basic Books, a subsidiary of Perseus Books LLC
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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.
About the Author
Keith Sawyer, associate professor of psychology at Washington University, is the author of Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation.