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Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  18 reviews
For years, Warren Bennis has written about leadership in works such as Learning to Lead, Beyond Leadership, and the bestselling On Becoming a Leader. His aim in these well-received titles was to catalog the traits and styles of leadership that help individuals excel in their work. In his new book (and already another bestseller) Organizing Genius, Bennis declares the age o ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published November 1997 by Nicholas Brealey (first published January 1st 1997)
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Heather Maoury
I found this book very repetitive and semi-interesting. I grasped the concepts after the 1st few chapters. The only reason I continued reading was out of interest of the history of the "Great Groups" themselves. The anecdotes about the Apple Team and the Manhattan Project from a historical perspective were quite interesting. As a Disney fan, I knew most of the stories that were shared in the book about Walt Disney being more of an "idea" guy and not the executor of his vision. This was the same ...more
Michael
Warren Bennis has been writing and working this territory for so long he could write this book in his sleep. Maybe he did, for the amount of slack and the lack of energy in it.

His team looked at seven high-powered groups for similarities in process, and wouldn't you know it--he found some! From Disney Studios to the Clinton campaign for President, here are the elements of a successful group, or at least, this kind of group.

Because so few groups will be able to attain the level of givens and assu
...more
Otis Chandler
A great read for anyone leading or working in a creative team. Delves into the stories of Xerox PARC, Disney, Bill Clinton's election, Black Mountain College, Skunk Works, and The Manhattan Project. Very interesting to read about all these epic creative groups.

I'm not sure I learned anything revolutionary in this book, but it did help drive home some ideas that I keep running across.

I think the major takeaway of the book is that great groups need a great purpose. If they believe in the purpose,
...more
Aaron Bolin
Warren Bennis and his colleagues narrate a series of "great group" case studies including Disney, the Manhattan Project, and Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. The premise behind the book is that great groups share certain characteristics in common that could be replicated to produce other great groups. The book is very well-written, but I started to get bored in the latter chapters. The case studies just weren't that compelling. Overall, I thought the book was a worthwhile read. I would ...more
Chris
The stories in this book make you want to belong to a Great Group - or, if you have been part of a Good or Great Group, brings back memories of a special time. Truly what many would want 'work' to be - fun, focused, really part of the whole, and changing 'something.'

For managers or those looking for ways to get teams of very smart and/or very dedicated and/or very focused people to work together, this provides some guidelines about how it really does take all kinds to accomplish big things, and
...more
Derrick Trimble
The stories that make up the core of this Bennis/Biederman work span twentieth century organizational innovators. The footprint of the leaders and their Great Groups on our business think as well as day-to-day life is encased like a fossilized marker of time. I often wondered while reading how the Great Groups could sustain their creative edge. Each Great Group rose to a call by a leader and delivered their products with total abandon. Picking through the mountain of mental ore of each page, I f ...more
Amy
Mar 15, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: a college professor
Shelves: non-fiction
The companies described in this book were all start-ups which brought together incredibly talented and passionate people, and the stories are insightfully told. There are five or six examples (if I remember correctly) of amazing business ventures, some of which became incredible successes (Apple, Skunkworks), and some which were failures (Black Mountain [art] College). This was one of the small handful of valuable books I got from my college education. I found it very interesting and very well w ...more
Devin Partlow
Really a 3.5, this book does a good job of analyzing specific greats groups for insight into the elements of a great group. The author also does a great job of summarizing the top 15 things you need to make a great group of your own in the end. With that said you have to wonder what came first in the creation of this book, the top 15 things or the selection of great groups...

I recommend this book to anyone that wants to do something amazing and is in the process of forming the team to do so.
Curtis
This was a good book and I've gone back to it many times to re-read a chapter or brush up on a cool factoid. It breaks down some of the countries greatest groups and why they were so great. It reviews the Walt Disney Studios that created Snow White to the Manhattan Project, and many others.
Kiersten
Only good if you're looking for the proof. No real "lessons" structurally laid out, but rather stories of companies/groups etc. that worked together.
Katherine
A great look into some of the greatest groups in American history (Disney, PARC, Skunk Works) and what made them tick.
Kaigham
Amazing. Any leader or manager of any type of enterprise needs to get a copy. Now.
Rina
It is a great read for managers, team and project leaders
Kris
Jan 18, 2009 Kris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
This was recommended to me.
Ed
Fascinating stories.
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Warren Gamaliel Bennis is an American scholar, organizational consultant and author, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership Studies. Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California.

“His work at MIT in the 1960s on group behavior foreshadowe
...more
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“Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.” 31 likes
“Who succeeds in forming and leading a Great Group? He or she is almost always a pragmatic dreamer. They are people who get things done, but they are people with immortal longings. Often, they are scientifically minded people with poetry in their souls.” 17 likes
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