What we are reading posts will feature articles, blogs, and books that the ELCA Innovation Lab is reading! These resources focus on innovation, equity design and design thinking. If something you are reading is resonating with you, please share it with us at lab@elca.org. We would love to hear from you.

Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation

Collective Genius Book

In their book Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, Dr. Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove and Kent Lineback define innovation simply as something new and useful.

Innovation is not about solo genius but focuses on building the culture and context for collective genius. For Hill and associates, each individual person has a unique slice of genius – their ideas, experience, and way of seeing the world. To build an innovation culture each person’s individual slice of genius must be unleashed and harnessed as part of the “collective.”

Through their research on innovative businesses and organizations such as Google, Pixar and Volkswagen, the team explores innovation culture – the willingness (i.e., shared purpose, values and rules of engagement) and capability (i.e., creative abrasion, agility and resolution) to innovate time and again.

Learn More

  1. Check out the book’s website where you can download an excerpt from the book.
  2. Read this article, Collective Genius, published by Harvard Business Review.
  3. Watch Dr. Linda Hill’s Ted talk, How to manage for collective creativity.

Discussion Questions

  1. What would it mean to take a Collective Genius approach to your work/ministry?
  2. Have you been a part of creating innovations (i.e. something new and useful)? What was that like?
  3. How can you help unleash each person’s individual slice of genius in your work/ministry?

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