Summary of Organizing Genius

The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

Perseus Books,
First Edition: 1997 more...

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Organizing Genius book summary
Your teams can become Great Groups dedicated to important missions — if you can be a charismatic leader.

Rating

9 Overall

7 Applicability

10 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman describe the qualities that generate "Great Groups," capable of meaningful creative collaborations. Despite the myth of individual achievement and heroic leadership, the authors delve into major breakthroughs accomplished by group effort. Often Great Groups unite around the vision of a charismatic leader and work toward that leader’s goal with obsessive commitment. Bennis and Biederman spend much of the book describing the workings of a half dozen such groups - from the Manhattan project to the founders of the Disney Studio to Bill Clinton’s campaign team. These case histories read like individual short stories, but they each tell the saga of a driven creative collaboration. The authors conclude with lessons you can apply to bring the dedication of Great Groups to bear within your organization. getAbstract.com recommends this clearly written, logically organized book to leaders and collaborators in any industry, with two caveats. First, acquiring the requisite charisma is up to you. And, second, as to the authors’ fulsome praise of obsessive work habits, well, that’s so ’90s.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to transform your creative collaborations into Great Groups
  • How six specific Great Groups functioned in twentieth century American business, politics and education
  • How you can apply the lessons of Great Groups
 

Summary

What Makes a Group Great
Although legend traditionally reveres the "triumphant individual," many historic breakthroughs have been achieved by group effort. People often join their individual and collective talents to "create something new and wonderful." Such creative...
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About the Authors

Warren Bennis is a professor of business administration at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. An expert on leadership, he has written more than 20 books and advised four U.S. Presidents. Patricia Ward Biederman is an award-winning staff writer for The Los Angeles Times.


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