Organizing Genius

Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman describe the qualities that generate “Great Groups,” capable of meaningful creative collaborations. Despite the myth of individual achievement and heroic leadership, the authors delve into major breakthroughs accomplished by group effort. Often Great Groups unite around the vision of a charismatic leader and work toward that leader’s goal with obsessive commitment. Bennis and Biederman spend much of the book describing the workings of a half dozen such groups – from the Manhattan project to the founders of the Disney Studio to Bill Clinton’s campaign team. These case histories read like individual short stories, but they each tell the saga of a driven creative collaboration. The authors conclude with lessons you can apply to bring the dedication of Great Groups to bear within your organization. LetsRead recommends this clearly written, logically organized book to leaders and collaborators in any industry, with two caveats. First, acquiring the requisite charisma is up to you. And, second, as to the authors’ fulsome praise of obsessive work habits, well, that’s so ’90s.

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