Originals – Adam Grant
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World is a book written by Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The book discusses the concept of “originality” and how non-conformists can drive change and innovation in the world. The book explores how to identify and nurture original ideas, how to overcome fear of standing out, and how to build a culture that embraces diversity of thought.
It also examines the role of originality in leadership, decision-making, and creativity. The book is based on extensive research and real-life examples of successful original thinkers. It aims to provide readers with practical strategies and tools to generate and implement their own original ideas and become more effective in their personal and professional lives.
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- “Originality is an act of creative destruction”
- “The hallmark of originality is rejecting the defunct and exploring whether a better option exists”
- “Originality is not a fixed trait. It is a free choice”
- “Becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness but it leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of pursuit”
- “Originality brings more bumps in the road, yet it leaves us with more happiness and a greater sense of meaning”
Originality Underpins Fulfilling Careers
In his book “Originals,” Adam Grant argues that being an original, or having unique ideas and taking the initiative to make them a reality, is crucial to success in today’s world. Research supports this idea, as individuals who challenge the status quo and think differently often excel in their careers.
Small Details Make a Big Difference
Economist Michael Housman found a correlation between employees who chose to use alternative internet browsers and their job performance and longevity. These individuals were more likely to take initiative and solve problems, leading to their staying in their jobs for an average of 15% longer. This might seem like a small detail, but it is a sign of an individual who is willing to challenge the status quo and find novel solutions.
Overcoming Fear of Standing Out
To become original and drive change, individuals must overcome their fear of standing up for their unique ideas. This takes courage and determination but is essential for success.
Voicing your opinions has the potential to threaten your business career and your network. Challenging the status quo can be a positive thing, but offering ideas and claiming they cannot fail will land you in trouble. For example, research across nonprofits, retail, and manufacturing suggests that voicing your ideas and concerns to superiors is associated with a lower chance of raises and promotions.
Quantity Leads to Quality
Contrary to the traditional belief of “quality over quantity,” Adam Grant argues that having a large quantity of ideas can lead to a higher likelihood of developing exceptional ideas. This is supported by research from psychologist Dean Simonton, who found that highly creative individuals produce more ideas, leading to a higher probability of success. The book provides practical techniques and tips to generate a large number of ideas and increase the probability of success.
The Power of Diverse Thinking
Originality is often born from diversity of thought, and a culture that embraces diverse perspectives is more likely to produce innovative ideas. By encouraging diverse perspectives, organizations can foster an environment where originality can thrive.
Innovative ideas are not enough to instigate change. Instead, you will need to win over your peers. Otherwise, your idea will not be implemented effectively. One has to use the right tone when conveying their ideas to keep people interested. You should be sneaking your ideas into conversations.
The Importance of Idea Implementation
Generating original ideas is important, but it is not enough; you have to work hard to make them a reality. People like Isaac Newton and Pablo Picasso may have had a stroke of luck in their breakthrough discoveries; however, it is the hard work and quantity of ideas they generated that led to their eventual success. The book provides practical strategies and tips to implement one’s original ideas and turn them into reality.
Collaborate With Opposing Opinions
You will not get far in life if you only listen to people who agree with you and offer you constant praise. Criticism is generally not very pleasant, but it is crucial for personal growth. Surrounding yourself with some people who hold entirely different views to you is one way of preventing groupthink. Hence, people are encouraged to share their real opinions rather than just conforming to the majority’s views.
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Procrastination may be the enemy of productivity, but it can be a resource for creativity.