Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation - Deepstash

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The author argues that the traditional autocratic leadership model does not work for innovative businesses. Instead, innovation requires a different type of leader that can foster a stimulating and supportive working environment.

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

by Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, Kent Lineback

LINDA HILL

“If your goal is innovation, then your role must instead be to create an environment—a setting, a context, an organization—where people are willing and able to do the hard work of innovation themselves: to collaborate, learn through trial and error, and make integrated decisions.”

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Innovation is often a group effort, not an isolated individual who works alone.

Better ideas arise when people with different views can express their ideas and receive feedback. Innovations are discovered after countless experimentation and trial and error. This can take ti...

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Good leaders encourage discovery and innovation.

  • Leaders ensure their organisations are collaborative and make integrative decisions.
  • They help with conflict resolution without providing a solution to a group.
  • They encourage multiple opinions.

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Innovation needs paradoxical qualities: Freedom and restraint. Unleashing and harnessing resources like talent and ideas. Harmony in the team and conflict.

  • A good leader encourages people to express their viewpoints. They create an open environment where people feel co...

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The traditional leadership model tends to squash creativity. The boss creates the ideas, then tells everyone what they should do. This model doesn't work when the goal is to create something new because even the leaders don't know the outcome.

To cultivate innovative co...

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People want to feel like they're part of a community and work on something bigger than themselves. A brand can be used to unite and motivate employees around a common purpose.

Leaders create the space for innovation. They create an environment in which peop...

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Values define what is important to a group. They determine the group's priorities. Innovative groups share four core values: 

  • Bold ambition: A group with a bold purpose will take on big challenges. Bold groups want to improve the world, and they feel they can improve i...

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Good ideas are shaped by discussion, debate and conflict. For people to be creative and innovative, they need to be good at disagreeing while staying respectful and treating each other as equals.

Creative abrasion is a skill that can be learned:

  • A di...

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Creative agility is the groups' ability to continually find out what works. Learning and development are balanced with tangible results.

Constant experimentation stimulates innovation. When the path forward is unclear, the ag...

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Ideas are created through discussion and conflict, and solutions are tested via trial and error. The next part is creative resolution. Here it is important to balance perseverance with endurance.

At this point, the leader establishes the bo...

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Some challenges are so big and complex that they require multiple disciplines to deal with them, often beyond a single organisation.

Unlike innovative teams within a single company, teams across organisations often feel competitive or hostile to one another. Leaders may focus too much on th...

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