Summary of Team Genius

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Team Genius book summary


8 Overall

7 Applicability

10 Innovation

8 Style


Business journalists Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone discuss the new science behind effective teams and why team size matters. They cover how diversity affects teams, why too much or too little conformity kills a team, and how to identify and deal with destructive team members. Karlgaard and Malone emphasize having the right number of people on your team, yet they report that cohesion matters more than head count. Their chapters on “pairs” and “trios” are especially fascinating. Pairs generally endure, but adding a third member often causes chaos. Groups of four or more tend to be stable. Larger groups have their own special parameters. getAbstract recommends this intriguing, revealing study to team builders, team leaders, professors, coaches, parents, entrepreneurs and investors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What is the “magic number” of people on a team, and
  • How to assemble and manage teams.

About the Authors

Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard is an entrepreneur, journalist and speaker. Michael S. Malone is a journalist, technology writer and entrepreneur.



“Dunbar’s Numbers”

Biological hardwiring makes people want to form teams. Early humans banded together to hunt. Humans don’t function as well alone; they thrive in pairs or groups. Just as molecules form bonds – some of which are more stable than others – so do human beings. Pairs are the simplest and most stable bond in chemistry and in life. Humans form “pairs” in love and marriage and as friends. Adding a third person to a pair often complicates matters, and some “trios” can be explosive. Members of successful trios have different skills and balance each other.

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