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Hot Spots

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Hot Spots

Why Some Teams, Workplaces, and Organizations Buzz with Energy - and Others Don't


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Take the chill out of the Big Freeze: Ignite the fire of creativity and innovation by sparking Hot Spots in your company.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


If you’ve been fortunate enough to experience a workplace that crackles with creative energy and productivity, you know all about “Hot Spots.” College professor Lynda Gratton has spent more than 10 years studying the internal corporate junctures where innovation, excitement and collaboration meet. She found that organizations that create the fertile conditions in which Hot Spots emerge and flourish are rewarded with exceptional value and growth. In fact, she demonstrates that leading companies, such as BP and Nokia, cultivate Hot Spots as an integral part of their corporate cultures. If your company is stuck in the “Big Freeze” – the opposite of Hot Spots – you won’t be able to turn things around overnight. But don’t give Gratton’s slightly overwritten yet intriguing book the cold shoulder. getAbstract thinks it might light a fire at many companies.


Get It While It’s Hot

Athletes frequently talk about being “in the zone,” hitting that unique moment where physical and mental effort are seamlessly interwoven to generate energy that delivers peak performance. Hot Spots create that kind of environment in the workplace. Employees feed off each other’s ingenuity and excitement, producing fresh ideas and innovative solutions to old problems. The results are deeply satisfying and motivational.

The success of many of the world’s leading companies is correlated with their ability to create collaborative Hot Spots, igniting exploration, inventiveness and passion in their employees. The opposite of a Hot Spot is the “Big Freeze,” an office environment where people are so conditioned to their humdrum, repetitive and boring routines that they cannot even conceive of a stimulating workplace. But the conditions that create Hot Spots are complex. You can’t throw 15 people into a boardroom, bolt the door and automatically expect brilliant insights and novel ideas to spill out five hours later. In fact, Hot Spots aren’t planned; they flare up spontaneously. Some just flicker and never catch fire. Others burn intensely, then fade...

About the Author

Lynda Gratton is a professor of management practice at London Business School.

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