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Title: Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Author(s): Keith Sawyer
Number of Referenced Stories: 2

Publication Year: 2007
ISBN: 9780465071920
Dewey Decimal Class: 600
Dewey Decimal Division: 658
Author Website:

Just in Time Stories:
    #212 - Computer Game Modding

B's Buzz

Keith Sawyer, a psychologist at Washington University, shares his insights.

"Creativity has long been thought to be an individual gift, best pursued alone; schools, organizations, and whole industries are built on this idea. But what if the most common beliefs about creativity are wrong?

My book tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity and erects new principles in their place.

Creativity is always collaborative—even when you're alone. My book is filled with compelling stories about the inventions that change our world: the ATM, the mountain bike, and open source operating systems, among others. In each case, I show the true story of innovation: in spite of the 'lone genius' myths that always spring up after an invention's success, these important inventions always originate in collaboration.

To understand the hidden collaborations that drive exceptional creativity, I spent 15 years studying jazz groups, theater ensembles, and everyday conversation. In GROUP GENIUS, I distill the essence of this acclaimed research and show how to be more creative in collaborative group settings, how to change our organizations for the better, and how to tap into our own reserves of creativity. The empowering message is that all of us have the potential to be more creative; we just need to learn the secrets of group genius."

Behavioral definitions also form a widespread, under-recognized pattern. In Open4Definition's separate research those whose innovations became a behavioral definition are featured by referenced book.

Seemingly ordinary men, women and organizational leaders tapped the power of language to help others guide improvement. These include Chef Jeremiah Tower's California Cuisine in Anatomy of a Trend, French FAVI manufacturing CEO Jean-François Zobrist's Mini-plants in both Freedom, Inc. and In Pursuit of Elegance, and a Jim Hartsfeld-led LEED green building certification process in The Necessary Revolution. Finnish computer programmer, Linus Torvalds as Keith Sawyer also describes became a central figure in what became Open Source, which is now seeding open innovation. Torvalds' story is also featured in Free and The Wisdom of Crowds. In each case a creative undertaking began as an idea that was then developed and, by necessity, spread collaboratively.

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