“If we have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
If we do good work, we owe it to the good fortune we have enjoyed standing on the shoulders of many Giants who have inspired us with their work, their practice, their writing, their research, and their role modeling. We consider ourselves “small scale inventors” who help others become inventors.
Our ability to invent and create a different experience for every project is the outcome of the work, research, and study of many others. First of all, we are grateful for the genius and the generosity of Matt and Gail Taylor who have inspired our work and helped us on countless occasions. Secondly, we are thankful for professors Linda Hill, Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria, and Richard Pascale who have helped us make sense of our role, our potential, and our limitations in the most generous and inspiring of ways.
We never stop exploring, reading, and studying the work of those who are Giants to us. This list includes the people who have been most influential to us (by no means we represent their work or are associated with them: we humbly study them). If you see an asterisk next to their name, it means that we have worked on a project together:
Ben Okri > Poet and novelist
Bruno Munari > Artist, designer, inventor
Christopher Alexander > Architect and writer
Dan Ariely > Thinker, professor, and expert in behavioral economics; author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty
Daniel Goleman > Psychologist and science journalist; author of several books on the brain and learning including Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, and Focus
Douglas Griffin > Consultant; visiting professor and member of the Complexity Research Group at the Hertfordshire Business School; author of The Emergence of Leadership; co-author of several books on complexity and organizations
Frank Gehry > Architect
Frederic Laloux > Executive advisor, coach, and facilitator; expert in emerging organizational models; author of Reinventing Organizations
Gail Taylor* > School teacher and facilitator; expert in collaborative leadership, instructional design, collective creativity, experiential learning, and educational innovation; founder and chairman of Tomorrow Makers; co-founder of MG Taylor Corporation; founder of The Learning Exchange in Kansas City
Greg Brandeau* > Chief Technology Officer, Pixar, Walt Disney Studios, and NeXT; co-author of Collective Genius
Hugh MacLeod* > Cartoonist, public speaker, live-tooner; author of Ignore Everybody, Evil Plans, and Freedom Is Blogging In Your Underwear
Jay Allison* > Independent broadcasting journalist; producer of hundreds of documentaries, reports, and special series for National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and foreign networks; curator and producer of This I Believe, and co-editor of the bestselling books based on that series
Jeff Conklin > Facilitator, consultant, and teacher; expert in hypertext and collaborative technology; author of Dialogue Mapping
Jessica Hagy > Artist and writer, best known for her award-winning blog, Indexed
Jerry Sternin > Pioneer of Positive Deviance, co-author of The Power of Positive Deviance
Jim Collins > Scholar, researcher, and expert in the life and transformation of organizations; author of Good to Great, Built to Last, How the Mighty Fall, and Great by Choice
John Medina > Developmental molecular biologist; Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine; Director of the Brain Center for Applied Research at Seattle Pacific University; author of several books including Brain Rules and Clock of Ages
Joichi Ito* > Activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and Director of the MIT Media Lab; co-author of Dialog and Freesouls
Joshua Cooper Ramo > Co-chief executive officer and vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, one of the world’s leading geostrategic advisory firms; former senior editor and foreign editor of Time magazine; member of the board of directors at FedEx and Starbucks; author of several non-fiction books including The Age of the Unthinkable and The Seventh Sense
Joshua Margolis* > James Dinan and Elizabeth Miller Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at the Harvard Business School; researcher on leadership and ethics; co-author of People and Profits?
Keith Sawyer > Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina; one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity; author of Group Genius, Creativity and Zig Zag
Linda Hill* > Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; expert in change, cross-organizational relationships, global strategy, innovation, talent management, and leadership development; author of Becoming a Manager; co-author of Being the Boss and Collective Genius
Malcolm Gladwell > Journalist and writer; author of several books including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and David and Goliath
Maria Montessori > Physician, educator, philosopher, founder of the Montessori method of education; author of several books including The Absorbent Mind, Education for a New World, and To Educate the Human Potential
Matt Taylor* > Designer and facilitator; expert in application of architectural design to solving complex, systemic problems in organizational and epistemological frameworks; researcher on human creative process and collective creativity; co-founder, CEO, and President of MG Taylor Corporation
Nitin Nohria* > Dean of Harvard Business School and George F. Baker Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; co-author of several books on leadership and corporate transformation including The Handbook for Teaching Leadership, Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, and Driven
Patricia Shaw > Associate Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the Hertfordshire Business School; author of Changing Conversations in Organizations; co-author of Complexity and Management and Experiencing Spontaneity, Risk and Improvisation in Organizational Life
Peter Block > Consultant; author of several books including Community, The Answer to How Is Yes and Stewardship
Pietro Leemann* > Chef, artist, and philosopher of vegetarian cuisine; founder and chef of Joia, a one Michelin star restaurant in Milan
Rakesh Khurana* > Dean of Harvard College and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School; author of Searching for a Corporate Saviorand From Higher Aims to Hired Hands; co-author of several books on leadership and organizations
Ralph Stacey > Philosopher; Professor of Management at the Hertfordshire Business School; author of several books including Complexity and Creativity in Organizations; co-author of many books on complexity theory and organizations
Richard Pascale* > Leading business consultant and scholar; author of several books including The Art of Japanese Management and Managing on the Edge; co-author of The Power of Positive Deviance
Robert Kegan > Developmental psychologist and Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education; author of Immunity to Change, How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, An Everyone Culture, Change Leadership, The Evolving Self, and In Over Our Heads
Robert Pirsig > Writer and philosopher; author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila
Ronald A. Heifetz> Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership and the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School; developer of the groundbreaking leadership model called Adaptive Leadership; expert in leadership development and building adaptive capacity in societies and organizations; author of Leadership Without Easy Answers, Leadership on the Line, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership.
Rudolf Steiner > Philosopher, social reformer, architect, founder of the spiritual movement of anthroposophy; founder of the Waldorf schools
Scott Bedbury* > Marketing expert and brand architect; founder of Brandstream; co-author of A New Brand World
Scott Snook* > Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; researcher on leadership, leader development, leading change, and organizational failures; author of Cadet Leader Development System and Friendly Fire; co-author of The Handbook for Teaching Leadership and Practical Intelligence in Everyday Life
Seth Godin > Writer and blogger; expert in marketing and new media; author of several books including Tribes, Small is the New Big, and The Dip
Steve Jobs > Inventor, entrepreneur, co-founder of Apple
Steven Johnson > Science author and media theorist; author of several books including Where Good Ideas Come From, Future Perfect, Mind Wide Open, The Invention of Air, Emergence and How We Got To Now
Youngme Moon* > Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation at Harvard Business School; scholar and researcher on marketing innovation and brand differentiation; author of Different.
This list is incomplete, but gives a sense of the points of view that have contributed to our way of thinking and our way of working. And while Architects of Group Genius is not widely known, we have always enjoyed some positive, encouraging whispers about the impact of our projects.