Collective Genius

Collective Genius
By Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove and Kent Lineback
Harvard Business Review
Retail Price $28.00
Amazon Price: $19.06

Book Description: 

Why can some organizations innovate time and again, while most cannot?

You might think the key to innovation is attracting exceptional creative talent. Or making the right investments. Or breaking down organizational silos. All of these things may help—but there’s only one way to ensure sustained innovation: you need to lead it—and with a special kind of leadership. Collective Genius shows you how.

Preeminent leadership scholar Linda Hill, along with former Pixar tech wizard Greg Brandeau, MIT researcher Emily Truelove, and Being the Boss coauthor Kent Lineback, found among leaders a widely shared, and mistaken, assumption: that a “good” leader in all other respects would also be an effective leader of innovation. The truth is, leading innovation takes a distinctive kind of leadership, one that unleashes and harnesses the “collective genius” of the people in the organization.

Using vivid stories of individual leaders at companies like Volkswagen, Google, eBay, and Pfizer, as well as nonprofits and international government agencies, the authors show how successful leaders of innovation don’t create a vision and try to make innovation happen themselves. Rather, they create and sustain a culture where innovation is allowed to happen again and again—an environment where people are both willing and able to do the hard work that innovative problem solving requires.

Collective Genius will not only inspire you; it will give you the concrete, practical guidance you need to build innovation into the fabric of your business.


This is a very accessible, easy-to-read look at innovation in the area of leadership and the culture of the workplace. The stories that the author’s provide from not only personal experiences, but well-chosen, real-world illustrations of how challenging, and ultimately rewarding, it can be to gather a team and establish a culture that is open to change and new ideas, and that is committed to innovation as the way to do business. The short chapters seem to be perfectly tailored to today’s time-crunched businessmen and businesswomen. This book is a great read for anyone seeking to stimulate and encourage innovation. The practical observations that you find here easily translates into guidance likely to encourage both individual and organizational creativity.

~Reviewed by David H

~Reviewed by Douglas R.

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