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Individual Genius--We Should Never Forgot How Important It Is.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on May 29, 2007

In era of process, where we do nearly all our innovation and design in teams, it is important to remember that genius can still play a critical role in creativity. Take a look at this amazing video of kinetic sculpture.

There are more videos by this creative genius at his site,

I’d like to open a conversation on the role of individual genius in innovation and design today. Our language and our behavior is all “process” driven but are we missing something very important? And if genius remains critical, how can it be integrated into our current business culture?

Does the individual creative genius require the individual brilliant individual business partner to make the magic happen? Is it always a Steve Jobs—Jonathon Ive kind of thing or can it be something else?

I dunno but want to find out. What do you think?

Reader Comments


May 29, 2007 9:51 PM

Not that I'm brilliant. But I know that my best creative work is when I can bounce ideas off of someone. And finding good partners is a challenge. I spent the weekend with a dear friend, someone that I've been able to successfully collaborate with on multiple art projects and it was a breath of fresh air. We both forgot how much we NEED each other. It was our collaboration that worked. Reminded me how many other collaborators that I worked with in the San Francisco area and how I'm missing that in DC. Makes the future plan to leave all that easier (and frankly, necessary).

Keith Sawyer

May 30, 2007 6:51 PM

I am a creativity researcher and the author, most recently, of GROUP GENIUS (Basic Books, June 2007). In that book I argue that all substantial innovations are based in collaboration. Of course individual people's ideas are essential; but much more than we realize, our own ideas are deeply based in our collaborations (as I argue in Part 2 of GROUP GENIUS). The book's web site is

Keith Sawyer's blog:

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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