New Study Confirms the Importance of Group Genius

A study reported in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, authored by Rob Cross, Andrew Hargadon, Salvatore Parise, and Robert J. Thomas, confirms the key arguments made in my book Group Genius. Their lead paragraph is straight from the book jacket of Group Genius: the idea that creativity comes from a lone genius is a myth; creativity always emerges from collaborations and networks.

The four researchers studied innovation networks in 20 organizations, and identified three common patterns associated with innovation. First, collaboration throughout the organization is critical. “Breaking down silos” is common wisdom these days; but the new research I report in Group Genius is showing exactly how to build networks across the organization. Second, connections are critical for enabling knowledge sharing, and the more that knowledge flows freely through the network, the more likely innovation is to emerge. Third, innovation emerges from groups that experience what I call “group flow”–when everything jives together and everyone is energized by the group to create at a higher level.

The article provides a list of four articles, published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, from the last five years that elaborate on these important points.

Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper, Spring 2007, “The new principles of a swarm business”

Polly Rizova, Spring 2006, “Are you networked for successful innovation?”

Jeffrey H. Dyer and Nile W. Hatch, Spring 2004, “Using supplier networks to learn faster”

Mohanbir Sawhney, Spring 2002, “Don’t just relate: Collaborate”

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