Group Genius™ Specifications

"'The right art,' cried the Master, 'is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too willful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.' . . .

'It is all so simple. You can learn from an ordinary bamboo leaf what ought to happen. It bends lower and lower under the weight of snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. Stay like that at the point of highest tension until the shot falls from you. So, indeed, it is: when the tension is fulfilled, the shot must fall, it must fall from the archer like snow from a bamboo leaf, before he even thinks it.'"

- Eugen Herrigel, "Zen in the Art of Archery," 1953


The requirements placed upon an individual, an event, or a facility such as a NavCenter™ environment are neither wholly objective nor subjective, but rather a combination of each in context of the particular person, place, or activity. Just as the Group Genius™ process embodies both art and science, so to does the process by which MG Taylor bestows the Award.

To create a shared understanding of what constitutes a Group Genius event or process, we have identified several components that will inform our opinion of any particular knowledge worker, environment or activity. These have been categorized by Processes, Tools, and Environments, though all interrelate and overlap in many ways. By putting this framework into the context of a particular event, the use of a facility, or the capabilities of an individual, one can gather a good sense of the presence of a Group Genius process.

The foundation upon which the MG Taylor® Way of Working rests is the Transition Manager's Creed, the rules of Infinite Games, and the highest standard of fiduciary responsiblity. Any individual, team, or organization that earns the Group Genius Award has demonstrated the performance of their work with a clear understanding of these principles.


Premise: The core of the MG Taylor method is a systematic, repeatable facilitation of the creative process. This method offers the ability to help organizations and groups consistently find and deliver more fit, wholistic solutions than would otherwise be possible. Once the solution is defined by the participants, our processes weave elements together creating an action plan that enables emergence, robustness, and feedback to help sustain and shape ongoing fitness of the solutions.

Question: How has this been demonstrated by the knowledge worker, event krew, or facility in question?

Premise: The 7 Domains exist in every workplace and organization. Their components are familiar to everyone. When these domains are valued and managed as an integrated system, an environment is created in which the natural creativity of individuals and groups blossoms.

Question: How were the Domains used to understand, critique, evaluate and manage the design process?

Premise: Co-design and collaboration are essential to the Group Genius process.

Questions: By what means did the design and facilitation involve the insights and vantage points of client sponsors and krew members? What feedback loops were in place to allow for real-time course corrections?

Premise: Knowledge always resides within a context and in action. Real-time knowledge management and the creation of knowledge ecologies enable participants and krew to discover what would otherwise be obscured, to see patterns in what would otherwise be noise, to make connections among seemingly disparate ideas, and to surround themselves in ideas and insights in a way that enhances their experience and ripens the environment for innovation.

Questions: How was the information and knowledge managed? Was the 10-Step Knowledge Management model employed? Was a healthy knowledge ecology created?

Premise: At least seven distinct types of intelligence have been identified (see the work of Howard Gardner). These intelligences learn in different ways and respond to different stimuli. The MG Taylor Process consciously employees multiple facilitation techniques– such as the 5 E's of Education model—in order to 'speak to' these intelligences.

Questions: By what means were each of these intelligences facilitated? Were participants able to "work big," actively working over each other and surrounding themselves in their ideas physically, visually and verbally?

Premise: "Real artists ship," Steve Jobs has been credited with declaring. Indeed, it correlates to the MG Taylor Axiom, "The only valid test of an idea, concept or theory is what it enables you to do," as well as the Scan Focus Act model. This applies not just to the participants of a event or process, but also to the krew.

Questions: Did participants finish the event in action? Was a clear path of action identified and coordinated? Did the facilitation continue not just until the conclusion of the event but through the process of designing, building and shipping the deliverables? Was the shipping done real-time assuring that the documentation remained fresh and vital to the client?


Premise: MG Taylor has built a visual modeling language consisting of diagrams annotated with labels and glyphs and supported by accompanying text. The models collectively form a loose grammar and lexicon for people to help enterprises figure out where they are, what's happening and why, and what possible paths may be taken. The models may also be used as templates and design tools for creating collaborative processes. Although the models can be studied and applied individually, their full power is only unleashed when considered in an interconnected and collective manner. Modeling language speakers must develop an easy familiarity with the language for it to be of most value. Just like learning a foreign language, at some point they lay aside the dictionaries, grammar books and begin to think in the new language and use the language itself as a vehicle for learning more of it.

Questions: How was the modeling language applied to the design process? How were the models integrated into the process to help participants and krew understand underlying organizational dynamics and situations? What was learned about the models themselves by the act of using them?

Premise: Technology is a powerful tool that can either leverage and augment human capability or hamper and intimidate the user. MG Taylor believes that technological tools such as computers, audio/video equipment, and software applications enhance the abilities for real-time knowledge management, time compression, and collaborative design.

Questions: What technology was used to facilitate these aspects of the process? Did it accomplish the desired ends? Was the sophistication of the technology such that it could be learned and used quickly by the average knowledge worker, or was specialized expertise required?

Premise: Tools are not necessarily "high-tech." A pencil, notepad, hypertile, song, table, and model airplane are all tools. At the right time, in the right context, each can be as powerful and facilitative as web browser or digital camera.

Questions: What role did tools such as these play in the process? Was the toolkit broad and diverse enough to positively impact multiple learning styles and intelligences?


Premise: The ability to "work big" is a tremendous facilitator of collaborative design and Group Genius processes. The visual space represented by the WorkWall™ systems, for example, permits individuals, teams, and entire organizations to set goals, to create visions, and to plot and track courses for getting there—or more precisely, getting here from there. Visions reside, not in the minds of a few individuals, but in the open, on the walls, for all to see and recreate for themselves.

Questions: How was the environment outfitted to encourage working big? How was work displayed? Were participants actively engaged physically, as well as intellectually, in their activities?

Premise: Adjustability is likewise essential to accommodate the needs of the work that needs doing at any given time. Only those doing the work can really know what sort of environment will best facilitate their work at any particular moment during the day. When the participants need to work alone, the space can be configured for individual work in moments. When they need to work as a large group, they reconfigure the space for large-group work in minutes. Whether the group be at the Vision stage of the Creative Process or in Engineering, the environment should mold around the type and modality of the work being performed.

Questions: How did the environment evolve over the course of the process? Did environmental considerations play a vital role in the design of the event? How well did the environment perform in "making easy" the work of the participants?

Premise: MG Taylor's approach to work environments represents a synthesis of architecture, business and humanism. A work environment is not a factory, and workers are not automatons. A sterile, uniform and sleek environment does not promote productivity. Efficiency, structure and uniformity are the traits of machines. Humanity, on the other hand, excels at creation. Environments should facilitate this creative spirit. A pleasant atmosphere, varied with soft colors, interesting textures, pleasing woods and abundant plants, is an environment that encourages people to enter and to stay. A work environment that allows people to relax and feel comfortable is one in which creativity can emerge.

Questions: Describe the pattern language of the space. How did the environment evoke individual and group creativity? How were colors, lights, sounds, and smells used?


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