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March 28, 2007

Staff Picks: Hot Spots spark innovation

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:58 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

A few days ago we posted an excerpt from the book Ignited. Here's an excerpt from a February Financial Times article that reviewed Lynda Gratton's new book, Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces, And Organizations Buzz With Energy - And Others Don't, another "hot" title this spring:
But, if you are lucky, you may also spot the occasional flash of orange or red. These are "hot spots" - "a moment when people are working together in exceptionally creative and collaborative ways . . . Hot spots occur when the energy within and between people flares - when mundane everyday activities are set aside for engaged work that is exciting and challenging. It is at times like these that ideas become contagious and new possibilities appear."
Gratton has not branched out from her distinguished career studying management to dabble in meteorology. The "hot spots" are an extended metaphor, but one that is soundly based on a body of academic research into networks, teams,culture, collaboration and creativity.

The author brings up examples like the communities that build Linux, Nokia, and Goldman Sachs to illustrate the fact that even groups with far-flung members can feed on one another's energy to spark innovation.
Gratton has written a succinct and utterly compelling book. She is really a kind of one-woman hot spot in herself.
Check out the article: "Creative sparks warm up a business ice age" by Stefan Stern.
www.ft.com, February 28 2007.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.