photograph of two flowers


photograph copyright by Lynn Bridge

Weeks ago I promised to review Twyla Tharp’s book, The Collaborative Habit; Life Lessons for Working Together, so I will make good on that now.

This book has something in common with her previous book, The Creative Habit, which I reviewed, and the commonality is HABIT!  To quote Twyla Tharp

“Collaborators aren’t born, they’re made.  Or, to be more precise, built, a day at a time, through practice, through attention, through discipline, through passion and commitment- and, most of all, through habit.”

She advises us to look at ourselves and see if we are the problem in a relationship!  She advocates for working together as a process that makes the outcome better than what the smartest person in the group could have come up with on his own.

Ideas and examples of collaboration developed and used by a college basketball coach, fellow choreographers, musicians, a figure-skater, and the Curies, along with many others, are all in this book.

As a committee chairman, I have found this book useful already as it guides me through the habits I need to develop in order to work together well with my fellow committee members.  This book is not just useful for the author’s fellow creatives, but for anyone who is not a hermit!

Another quote from the book is,

“A clearly stated and consciously shared purpose is the foundation of great collaborations.”

A likewise pithy comment from the book is,

“I can’t emphasize this idea enough.  Getting involved with your collaborator’s problems almost always distracts you from your own.  That can be tempting.  That can be a relief.  But it usually leads to disaster.”

The author has decades of successful collaborations and dysfunctional attempts which bolster her credibility as a teacher and trainer in the field of working together.  This book makes a wonderful team with the author’s previous book on creativity.

photo of Texas wildflowers

One Plus One Plus One Plus…

photograph copyright by Lynn Bridge