- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Viking (Feb. 2 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525429565
- ISBN-13: 978-0525429562
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World Hardcover – Feb 2 2016
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“Part of the fun of Grant’s book is that he redeems behaviors we typically regard with puritan disdain. . . . Thought-provoking.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Fresh research, counter-intuitive insights, lively writing, practical calls to action . . . Grant has a deserved reputation as an original thinker.”
—The Financial Times
“Grant’s latest looks set to join the required reading lists of many companies across America.”
“[Grant] examines what successful non-conformists . . . have in common, all in an effort to help the rest of us learn how to do things like bust myths, speak truth to power, and avoid groupthink without getting sidelined.”
—The Washington Post
“Adam Grant is a serious social scientist, master storyteller and infectious optimist. . . . Originals is filled with fresh insights on a broad array of topics that are important to our personal and professional lives. Mr. Grant has an uncanny ability to infuse a familiar topic with deeper meaning and leave the reader feeling hopeful and a little exhilarated.”
—The New York Times DealBook
“This extraordinary, wildly entertaining book sheds new light on the Age of Disruption. What does it take to make a meaningful difference? And how can you apply this insight to your own life? By debunking myths of success stories, challenging long-held beliefs of process, and finding commonality among those who are agents of profound change, Adam Grant gives us a powerful new perspective on not just our place in the world, but our potential to shake it up entirely.”
—JJ Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, co-creator and executive producer of Lost, and cofounder of Bad Robot
“After launching hundreds of businesses—from airlines to trains, music to mobile, and now a spaceline—my biggest challenges and successes have come from convincing other people to see the world differently. Originals reveals how that can be done and will help you inspire creativity and change.”
—Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group
“Originals is a fascinating, eye-opening read that will help you not just recognize your own unique gifts, but find the strength to challenge conventional wisdom to bring them to life. Using surprising studies and riveting stories, Adam Grant brilliantly shows us how to champion new ideas, bust persistent myths that hold us back and change not only our lives, but our world.”
—Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, and author of Thrive
“It can sometimes seem as if one must learn everything old before one can try anything new. Adam Grant does a masterful job showing that is not the case; we are lucky to have him as a guide.”
—Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, and author of Zero to One
“An urgent must read, a seminal work that will surprise you on every single page. Adam Grant has reset our expectations for what it means to be creative and what's required to make a difference. Share it with someone you care about.”
—Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
Praise for Give and Take
“As brilliant as it is wise, this is not just a book—it’s a new and shining worldview. Adam Grant is one of the great social scientists of our time, and Give and Take is brimming with life-changing insights.”
—Susan Cain, author of Quiet
“Give and Take is a truly exhilarating book—the rare work that will shatter your assumptions about how the world works and keep your brain firing for weeks after you’ve turned the last page.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human
“I love Give and Take, which shows that givers get ahead and nice guys don’t finish last.”
—Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive and president of the Huffington Post Media Group
“Now shaking up the business world: science that may change the way the world does business.”
—Willie Geist, Today show
“Adam Grant’s Give and Take is an excellent book. Hard work, luck, and talent are important, but giving makes the difference.”
—Alex Stubb, prime minister of Finland
“Give and Take is like a fundamental outline as to how to be successful. . . . Highly recommended read.”
—Ashton Kutcher, actor, director, and technology investor
“Give and Take is a very interesting book. . . . I can’t put it down.”
—Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol
“Give and Take just might be the most important book of this young century. As insightful and entertaining as Malcolm Gladwell at his best, this book has profound implications for how we manage our careers, deal with our friends and relatives, raise our children, and design our institutions. This gem is a joy to read, and it shatters the myth that greed is the path to success.”
—Robert Sutton, author of The No *sshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss
About the Author
Adam Grant is Wharton's top-rated teacher. He has been recognized as one of HR's most influential international thinkers, BusinessWeek's favorite professors, the world's 40 best business professors under 40, and Malcolm Gladwell's favorite social science writers. Grant was tenured at Wharton while still in his twenties and has been honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award for every class he has taught. His first book, Give and Take, was a New York Times bestseller translated into twenty-seven languages and named one of the best books of 2013 by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal--as well as one of Oprah's riveting reads, Fortune's must-read business books, Harvard Business Review's ideas that shaped management, and the Washington Post's books every leader should read. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NFL, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Disney Pixar, the United Nations, and the U.S. Army and Navy. He serves as a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times and was profiled in a cover story by its magazine. Grant earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and his B.A. from Harvard. He is a former junior Olympic springboard diver and magician.See all Product description
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Indeed, this book received an extraordinary level of buzz, including a long excerpt in the New York Times. So is there anything to it?
Happily, there is. In a series of fascinating chapters, Grant debunks common myths about the nature of originality – that it is only the young who are creative; that people’s first spontaneous ideas are the most original; that there is an early adopter profile that is common to creative thinkers; that originals follow their gut instincts, etc.
He illustrates that being a non-conformist is a lot harder than it may seem. As Dr. Ronald Inglehart and the World Values Survey demonstrate, the drive to be a conformist, to re-present past habits and traditions, and to re-present what we have learned from others is deeply ingrained. From an evolutionary point of view, it increases our chances of survival to learn from past successes and mistakes, as they have been communicated to us by our parents, our ancestors and other members of our local community. So if we are told by our elders that a number of people who ate pork died, and that we should abstain from pork, the prudent reaction is to avoid pork. And if we are told that a member of our tribe was killed by a member of a different tribe, then it makes sense to avoid strangers and to marry within one’s own tribe. Moreover, as Nietzsche observes:
“An important species of pleasure, and thus an important source of custom, originates in habit. One does what is habitual better and more easily and thus prefers to do it, one derives a sense of pleasure from it and knows from experience that the habitual has proved itself and is thus useful; a custom one can live with is demonstrated as salutary, beneficial, in contrast to all novel experimentations that have not yet proved themselves. Custom is consequently the union of the pleasant and the useful, and in addition it demands no cogitation. As soon as man is in a position to exercise compulsion he exercises it to introduce and impose his customs, for to him they are demonstrated practical wisdom. A community of individuals likewise compels each separate individual to observe the same custom. Here there is the false conclusion: because one feels happy with a custom, or at least can preserve one’s existence by means of it, this custom is necessary, for it counts as the sole condition under which one can feel happy; a happy life seems to derive from this custom alone. This conception of the customary as a condition of existence is conveyed into the minutest particulars of custom… one sees to it with superstitious fear that everything continues on in the way it has always gone; even when custom is hard, rigorous, burdensome it is preserved on account of its apparent supreme utility. One does not know that the same degree of wellbeing can also exist under other customs or that even higher degrees are attainable. But one does not perceive that all customs, even the harshest, grow milder and more pleasant in course of time, and that even the strictest mode of life can become habitual and thus a source of pleasure.”
Therefore it is only with the recent advent of postmaterialist, creative economies that having new ideas has been widely celebrated and rewarded. Now instead of merely re-presenting the Old and the Same, we value presenting the New and the Different.
In his overview, Grant provides both psychological and sociological observations on the nature of originals. Though historically creativity was often conceived as an individual psychological phenomenon "inside" the brains of exceptional geniuses, recent theories have shifted the emphasis from the individual to the sociological conditions of possibility of originality. Richard Florida talks about the "3 T's" of creative cities - Talent, Technology and Tolerance; Frans Johansson talks about growing creativity happening at the "Intersection" of ideas, concepts and cultures as the result of the movement of people; the convergence of scientific disciplines; and the leap in computational power (both computers and the Internet). Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about the relationships among Domains, Fields and Persons that result in originality.
And in perhaps the most advanced theory to date, Dr. Richard Ogle talks about creativity as being a result of the “Smart World” in which we live. He suggests that it makes little sense to think about originality as the result of individual genius, because in fact the mind is not merely about neurons in the head, but has rather been `extended' into the artefacts and tools we have created for ourselves (e.g. libraries, Google).
The chapters in Originals read like a collection of loosely-related (though interesting) magazine articles, and it can be challenging to digest all of the observations and insights Grant offers. Fortunately at the end of the book he summarizes several of his key points:
Question the default: Instead of taking the status quo for granted, ask why it exists in the first place. Conformity to “common sense” is the enemy of original thinking.
Triple the number of ideas you generate: The best way to boost your originality is to produce more ideas.
Immerse yourself in a new domain: Originality increases when you broaden your frame of reference.
Don’t try to calm down. It’s easier to turn anxiety into intense positive emotions like interest and enthusiasm.
Realize you’re not alone. Even having a single ally is enough to dramatically increase your will to act.
Remember that if you don’t take the initiative, the status quo will persist.
Hire not on cultural fit, but on cultural contribution. Originality comes not from people who match the culture, but rather from a non-conformist counter-culture.
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