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Creative quotes and quotations
On Collaboration...


In the great debate about whether creativity works best with individuals or groups, here are some thoughts about doing it with more than one person. In practice, groups can be both better and worse than individuals, as they can both build off each others’ ideas and also squash new thoughts before they even become an idea.

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criticism*, experts, genius, people*, quantity, resistance, talent, tension


‘Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than myself.’

Alexander Graham Bell

‘The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind.’

Thomas Carlyle

‘Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.’

Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

‘It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject: the details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought and perception of an individual.’

Alexander Fleming

‘Clearly no group can, as an entity, create ideas. Only individuals can do this. A group of individuals may, however, stimulate one another in the creation of ideas.’

Estill I. Green

‘Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.’

Oliver Wendell Holmes

‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’

Isaac Newton

‘The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.’

Theodore Roosevelt

‘If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.’

George Bernard Shaw

‘It takes two to speak the truth–one to speak, and another to hear.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘There is a creative act involved by the receiver as well as by the sender and that makes for innovation. Both sides are equally important.’

J. Kirk Varnedoe

‘There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.’

Edith Wharton


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