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January 2, 2005 » 12:00 pm

Camels and Group Process

This morning, Gail Taylor told me where she first came across the term, “Group Genius.” From the Tomorrow MakersFAQ:    (GIK)

In 1976 I stumbled on Lawrence Halprin‘s personal notebooks in the library. He had written the words “group genius” beside one of his stories. At that moment I realized that my work was all about what has comed to be called Group Genius.    (GIL)

The story?    (GIM)

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”    (GIN)

This old saw demeans the camel – which is an admirably designed animal (for the environment in which he lives) and the group design process. It is not the ideas of collective creativity which has failed but the committee idea itself: which attempts to function without clear understanding of the necessary processes involved in group problem solving. (Lawrence Halprin, 1974)    (GIO)

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