Book | 2016

Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation

by Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds


Machiavelli famously wrote, "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." That's what this book is about—innovation far more audacious than a new way to find a restaurant or a smart phone you can wear on your wrist. Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds explore large-scale systemic innovation that calls for "big teaming": intense collaboration between professions and industries with completely different mindsets. To explore the kind of leadership required to build the future, Edmondson and Reynolds tell the story of an award-winning "smart city" start-up launched with the ambitious goal of creating a showcase high-tech city from scratch. The collaboration brought together software entrepreneurs, real estate developers, city government officials, architects, builders, and technology corporations. Taking a close look at the work, norms, and values in each of these professional domains, readers gain insight into why teaming across fields is so challenging, and what leaders can do to help.

Keywords: teaming; innovation; leadership; Leadership; Groups and Teams; Innovation and Invention;


Edmondson, Amy C., and Susan Salter Reynolds. Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016.