I recently finished a good book called Surrounded By Geniuses. The main idea of the book is that everybody at your workplace has some type of genius in them, and if you can set up the right environment, you can unlock that genius and your company will benefit.
The book begins by discussing the changing economy and how innovation matters more than ever, then moves on to talk about why most approaches to innovation don't work. After that comes my favorite chapter in the entire book "Curiosity as a Competitive Advantage." I absolutely loved this chapter because I think the modern corporation rewards conformity over curiosity, yet curiosity is a powerful force behind innovation because it encourages experimentation for the sake of knowing as much as for the sake of profit. When I meet people who are curious about things, I always enjoy the resulting discussions, and I think their passion for having their questions answered (no matter how random they may be) eventually plays a big part in their future success.
The remaining chapters in the book take you on ten different journeys. Each journey is a story about a business and something unique and innovative that they did – something that tapped into everyday genius. There is even a chapter on Seinfeld as one of the journeys, which points out how much the everyday aspects of life really do matter. After all, the entire show was built around such things.
The book ends with valuable ideas to help you tap into everyday genius. They include making friends with unusual people, network with people outside your main field of expertise, and reward your explorers for being curious. This book is a good read for managers who wish they could get a little bit more out of their employees, but haven't figured out the best way to do so. I would also recommend it for small business owners who have employees that wear a lot of different hats. For more information you can visit the website of the author, Dr. Alan Gregerman.