Warren Bennis brings out the "Triumphant Individual Myth" as a fantasy: in his book he refers to it as a romantic notion that great achievements are done by specially gifted people. Organizing Genius demonstrates how deeply rooted the triumphant individual myth is in American psyche. America is depicted as nation which is enamored with heroes who overcome adversities and challenges. People's views in regard to leadership have become entwined with the idea of heroism so much that the distinction between "hero" and "leader" doesn't exist.
Barnes notes the importance of every day collaboration and cooperation in organizations. In addition, the book incorporates the role of political and technological complexities in causing fewer arenas for individual action to suffice. I do agree with the opinion that we focus more on the need for teamwork yet we continue to support a culture in which persons distinguish themselves and their achievements individually. We give status and recognition to individuals instead of groups.
Organizing Genius analyzes history and brings a strong argument in favor of the power of collective effort and "great groups" in yielding success. Examples of these great groups are: The Bauhaus school, the Guaneri Quartet, The Manhattan Project as well as Francis Coppola and his team of filmmakers. These are just several great groups which have reshaped the universe in diverse and enduring ways. Furthermore, the book integrates research from renowned firms such as The Economists to bring out an argument in favor of team work.
It confirms the view that future corporations will be led by a group of leaders. Indeed we have to acknowledge the shift in paradigm from "lone leaders" to great leaders who have a close link to great groups. Through these mighty alliances the team as well as the leader are able to attain goals which none could achieve alone.
This book analyzes Great Groups methodically in the anticipation of understanding how their collective willpower and magic is made. It does this by focusing on 7 creative collaborations which have had enduring impact on society, this Great Groups are; Walt Disney; Apple and Xerox Palo Alto Centre; the Clinton Campaign of 1992 which helped the 1st democrat to become president since Jimmy Carter; The engineers of Lockheed Skunk Works; Black Mountain Collage; and lastly the Manhattan Project.
These 7 Great Groups are symbols of the golden age of accomplishment through collaboration in the United States.
One Key element in Organizing Genius is "Creative collaboration". This is brought out as a two way street requiring leaders to have a vision and to impact it on the followers. The right thing for a leader to do in order to achieve is to let each member of a team discover their inner potential. A practical example of Walt Disney clearly demonstrates this concept. Disney had the vision but he needed hundreds of individuals to carry out his vision.
This book is all about organizing individuals into groups with the aim of attaining great objectives; and in the process all the individuals involved experience personal transformation and joy. This book shows us why many groups flounder while others rise to greatness.