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Are You Harnessing the Collective Genius in Your Organization?

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Karen Woodard-ChavezKaren Woodard-Chavez

Over the past 20 years, in our uber-competitive markets, it has become increasingly important for any organization to be innovative if they want to stay on top of the market as opposed to being on the bottom of the pile. This is no flash of brilliance. This is a simple truth regardless of the type of business you operate.

When I work with organizations that are very innovative, I see a simple commonality. They have harnessed the power of collective genius in their organizations.

What does the phrase "collective genius" mean to you? If you look for it in any dictionary, you will not find the phrase. You will find it in articles in the Harvard Business Review and many other business publications. My definition of collective genius is the following: when you can take all the individual slices of genius, or ideas that are generated from each person in your organization, and put them together to create a solution that is both novel and useful.

Every organization has the ability to harness collective genius and utilize it to become a more innovative organization. However, clearly, not every organization does so. In this article, I will present how to do so.

Organizations that are innovative have changed their approach to leadership. They have gone from a single visionary lead approach to an approach where leadership enables innovation by doing the following:

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