Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration of the of theConcerned Professor December 9, 2010 Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration The book ‘Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration’ by Bennis and Biederman, to a great extent redefines the concept of leadership and collaboration, in the context of the contemporary business environment.
The authors have aptly succeeded in making the point that the days of vertically organized business organizations, relying to a great extent on experience and skills of a selected few are over. The book under consideration has in fact well elaborated the expertise and traits, which can help organizations and individuals, compete and excel in the face of glaring constraints and challenges.
The primary focus of this book is oriented around encouraging professionals to evaluate their aims and responsibilities in the context of a group or a team. In today’s globalized world, the opening up of economies and the digitization of business operations, has made the notion of an ‘all empowered leader’, almost arcane. The authors convey their approach by analyzing some reputed enterprises like the production of a full length animation movie by Walt Disney, Manhattan Project that led to the invention of the first atomic weapon, the production of the first user oriented computer by Apple and Xerox and the technological breakthroughs wrought by Lockheed, to convey and establish that all these ventures relied on the cooperative collaboration of a team of versatile individuals, to succeed.
The sentences from the book, which are of immense relevance for the project managers, are as follows: “Being able to work with others does not necessarily mean fitting in a conventional sense. ”1 Conventionally the concept of team and teamwork has always been interpreted as a group of disjointed individuals, working on a project, under the benign or autocratic guidance of a larger than life team leader.
However, in the true sense, teamwork is actually a synergetic assembly of individuals having skills and expertise that complement and supplement each other. In such teams, the leader stands to be one amongst the equals, whose primary function ought to be redefining reality. Thus, such teams need to be envisaged not as mechanically segregated or disjointed groups, but more as organically cohesive and collaborative entities.
“For Disney, as for Michelangelo, the scale of the project made collaboration a necessity”. 2 This statement has never been as true as in the contemporary globalized business environment. With the melting of barriers and the transnational expansion of prospective markets, there exists no single company that has the wherewithal and resources to singlehandedly produce and market the goods and services required by the empowered customers. Hence, a collaborative approach, both within and outside the organizations can help the sustainable organizations to fast react to changes on both the supply and the demand side.
No doubt, one today hears the terms like outsourcing, joint ventures, technology sharing, technology transfer and virtual companies. All these contemporary approaches to business do unexceptionally rely on collaboration amongst companies and individuals. It will be really true to say that in the current times, collaboration is more of a necessity than being just one other option. “There is a kind of leader who recruits only people like himself or herself.
There is another, better kind of leader who realizes you can only accomplish extraordinary things by involving excellent people who can do things that you cannot. ”3 Any effective leadership by necessity has to be flexible, accommodating and liberal. Also, to achieve success, the overall vision in organizations and groups also has to be collective and changeable. Only such a leadership approach could solicit a hundred percent dedication and cooperation of most of the team members. “The sense of being part of a uniquely informed cadre, privy to wonderful secrets from which the rest of the world is excluded, is also a powerful social glue. ”4 The essence of this sentence is very relevant in the sense that modern leadership can only be effective if it inculcates in the team members a sense of pride and exclusivity about what they are doing.
This automatically generates a feeling of camaraderie and cooperation in the team members. “Creativity is just connecting things”. 5 This is the one most important sentence in the book.
The scale of the modern ventures, be it product development, production, packaging, logistics or marketing is too big to be guided by the talent of a single genius. In fact, in the 21st century, business is all about exploiting and utilizing the expertise of varied individuals and groups, who are dedicated to a somewhat common vision. There is no denying the fact that this book contains abundant sentences that are conducive to the understanding of the idea of leadership. However, the above 4 sentences do rendered to me some pragmatic insights pertaining to the discipline of project management.
Bibliography Warren Bennis & Patricia Ward Biederman.
Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1997.