Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

Article excerpt

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, and Kent Lineback (Cambridge, MA: HBR Press, 2014)

Large, established companies are often not thought of as being innovative or generating new ideas in the way that start-ups do. But, as the authors of Collective Genius argue, in a time of rapid change, companies that have the willingness and ability to innovate have the competitive advantage. Firms that can create a culture of innovation will thrive and those that do not or cannot will be left behind. In Collective Genius, the authors bring their mix of backgrounds--including academic research at Harvard and MIT, innovation experience at Disney studios, and work as a business consultant in strategy and innovation--to the study of what makes large companies innovative. Relying on years of case study research, Collective Genius shows how large organizations can be innovative in ways that match their size and company culture. The book identifies how six large companies, including Pixar, Google, HCL Technologies, Volkswagen, Pentagram Design, and Ebay, foster innovation and dives into the leadership qualities that stimulate an environment of innovative thinking in these companies.

Drawing on data from their case studies, the authors identify four critical aspects of large-company environments that foster innovation: creating a community, creative abrasion, creative agility, and creative resolution. The community is the central element in creating an innovative environment. In a working community, the authors show, the messiness of the innovation process generates new ideas, which leads to experimentation that gives birth to more new ideas and new experiments; the difference between idea generation and implementation quickly fades. …

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