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A stellar team is greater than the sum of its individuals' ideas—from the Beatles to Google to Regis and Kelly, the world teems with proof of this exponential synergy. Ultimately, the magic behind innovative duos comes down to a few key ingredients: The pair usually has a shared vision, and complementary talents and temperaments. "If one scientist is theoretical and the other is a great lab administrator, they can be very productive," says Vera John-Steiner, a University of New Mexico professor and the author of Creative Collaboration . A careful balance of encouragement and criticism enables creative partners to bring out the best in each other.