Find Your Scenius

July 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I recently read an opinion piece that seems to validate the work we have been doing for the last number of years.  In “The end of geniusJoshua Wolf Shenk successfully argues that “the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network.”

THIS! My friends, is what we have been working on.


We understand that the challenges we are facing bring a level of complexity that is simply out of the range of any individual problem solver.  We believe that we must set a new set of conditions for collaboration.  These collaborations become possible at a deeper level of trust and authenticity.

When we bring people together, people who are driven by purpose, our goal is to facilitate the development of what Austin Kleon calls a scenius.  Seth Godin points in the same direction in his recent blog post “Finding Your Peer Group.”  These are two individuals that could take the title of “genius,” and yet they are the ones teaching us about the importance of the creative network.

There is something natural about this, something primal, Shenk points at research of the relationship between mother and baby to show that “emotions are ‘peopled’ from the start, centered in an interpersonal exchange rather than in an atomized self.”

I often remind clients that the “isolated self,” the idea of the individual as the apex of evolution, might have been quite liberating when it emerged in the context of the European Enlightenment.  But it is also an idea that has run its course, social isolation and the overwhelming sense of loneliness, are experiences that we witness everywhere in the rich world.

What we are seeking is a new balance. I leave you with Shenk’s concluding questions:

What is the optimal balance between social immersion and creative solitude? Why does interpersonal conflict so often coincide with innovation? Looking at pairs allows us to grapple with these questions, which are as basic to the human experience as the push and pull of love itself. As a culture, we’ve long been preoccupied with romance. But we should also take seriously something just as important, but long overlooked — creative intimacy.

Find your scenius.  Make opportunities for others to find theirs.

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