Originals: "How to champion new ideas and fight groupthink" by Adam Grant. A 1 Hour Guide by Anil Nathoo.Originals: "How to champion new ideas and fight groupthink" by Adam Grant. A 1 Hour Guide by Anil Nathoo.

What is “Originals”?

“Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” is a book written by Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The book was published in 2016 and explores the concept of originality, creativity, and the factors that drive individuals to champion new ideas and make a positive impact on the world by challenging the status quo.

The book examines the importance of timing, the role of dissent, and the influence of family, mentors, and culture in nurturing original thinking. “Originals” ultimately encourages readers to question conventional wisdom, embrace their inner non-conformist, and strive to create a more innovative and meaningful future.

Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent.

Adam Grant

Background and the Author’s Journey

Adam Grant’s journey in writing “Originals” was influenced by his background in organizational psychology and his interest in understanding what makes creative and innovative individuals and organizations stand out. Here is some background on the author’s journey in writing the book:

  1. Academic Foundation: Adam Grant’s academic background and research interests lay the foundation for “Originals.” As a professor of organizational psychology, he studied topics related to motivation, leadership, and the dynamics of workplace behavior. His research delved into understanding why some people are more innovative and original than others.
  2. Professional Experience: Grant’s professional experience as an organizational psychologist allowed him to work with a wide range of organizations and individuals. He gained insights into the challenges and opportunities for fostering creativity and innovation in various contexts, from businesses to nonprofit organizations.
  3. The Spark of Inspiration: The inspiration for “Originals” came from observing that many innovative and creative ideas often face resistance and skepticism, even from those in positions of power. Grant was intrigued by the question of why some original ideas succeed while others do not and wanted to explore the psychological and social factors behind this phenomenon.
  4. Extensive Research: To write “Originals,” Adam Grant conducted extensive research, including reviewing existing psychological and organizational literature, conducting interviews with a diverse range of individuals, and examining case studies of both successful and unsuccessful attempts at originality. His research aimed to uncover patterns and insights about what drives original thinking and actions.
  5. Practical Insights: One of the main goals of “Originals” is to provide practical insights and actionable advice for readers who want to foster creativity and innovation in their own lives and organizations. Grant wanted to bridge the gap between academic research and real-world applications, making the book accessible and relevant to a broad audience.

Throughout the book, Grant draws on a wide array of examples, case studies, and personal anecdotes to illustrate his points and provide readers with concrete takeaways. His journey in writing “Originals” reflects his passion for understanding and promoting original thinking and non-conformity, making it a valuable resource for those interested in creativity, innovation, and making a positive impact on the world.

Chapter 1: Creative Destruction

In this chapter, Grant explores the idea of creative destruction and how individuals who go against the grain can drive innovation and make a lasting impact.

1. Creative Destruction:

  • Definition: Creative destruction is a concept coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter. It refers to the process in which new innovations and ideas replace existing systems, products, or services, often rendering them obsolete. It is a fundamental driver of economic and social progress.
  • Example: One of the most iconic examples of creative destruction is the advent of the smartphone. When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, it disrupted the mobile phone industry, replacing traditional cell phones with multifunctional devices. Companies like Nokia, which dominated the market with traditional phones, failed to adapt, leading to their decline.
  • Case Study: Kodak, a photography giant, is a case study in creative destruction. Despite inventing the digital camera in the 1970s, they hesitated to embrace it fully because it would disrupt their film business. This hesitation ultimately led to their downfall as digital photography became the norm.

2. Risk and Innovation:

  • Concept: Going against the grain and championing original ideas often involves taking risks. Many original thinkers face skepticism and resistance, but it’s these individuals who drive innovation and progress.
  • Example: Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is known for taking significant risks. When he founded SpaceX, the space launch industry was dominated by a few established players. Musk’s vision and willingness to invest his own money paid off, and SpaceX revolutionized the industry with reusable rockets.
  • Case Study: Airbnb is another example of a risky innovation. When it started, people were skeptical about the idea of renting rooms in their homes to strangers. However, by embracing this original idea and addressing safety concerns, Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry.

3. Nonconformity and Originality:

  • Concept: To drive creative destruction, individuals often need to challenge the status quo and be nonconformists. Original thinkers are willing to question conventional wisdom and take unconventional paths.
  • Example: Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, was known for his nonconformist approach to design and product development. He didn’t follow market research; instead, he relied on his intuition and vision, which led to iconic products like the iPhone and iPad.
  • Case Study: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education, defied societal norms by advocating for girls’ education in a region where it was discouraged. Her determination and nonconformity brought global attention to the issue and led to positive change.

4. Embracing Failure:

  • Concept: Creative destruction often involves failures and setbacks. Original thinkers understand that failure is a natural part of the innovation process and are not discouraged by it.
  • Example: Thomas Edison, while working on the invention of the light bulb, famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” His persistence ultimately led to the successful development of the light bulb.
  • Case Study: The video game industry is marked by continuous innovation and failure. Companies like Atari and Blockbuster failed to adapt to changing trends, but others like Nintendo and Netflix embraced innovation and survived.

In conclusion, Chapter 1 of “Originals” by Adam Grant highlights the importance of creative destruction, risk-taking, nonconformity, and the acceptance of failure in driving innovation and making a lasting impact. Through examples and case studies, we see how individuals and organizations that dare to go against the grain can change industries, disrupt markets, and shape the future.

Chapter 2: Blind Inventors and One-Eyed Investors

Chapter 2 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Blind Inventors and One-Eyed Investors: The Art and Science of Recognizing Original Ideas.” In this chapter, Grant delves into the process of recognizing and supporting original ideas, highlighting the challenges and biases that can hinder this process.

1. The Challenge of Recognizing Original Ideas:

  • Concept: Recognizing original ideas can be challenging because they often deviate from the norm and may initially appear impractical or unconventional.
  • Example: In the early 20th century, the concept of powered, human-controlled flight was considered absurd. The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, had to overcome skepticism and resistance to demonstrate the feasibility of their flying machine.
  • Case Study: Airbnb faced challenges when pitching its idea of allowing people to rent out their homes to strangers. Investors were initially skeptical, but those who recognized the originality of the idea eventually supported it, leading to Airbnb’s success.

2. The Role of Intuition:

  • Concept: Recognizing original ideas often involves a combination of data-driven analysis and intuition. Gut feelings and hunches can be valuable in identifying groundbreaking concepts.
  • Example: Steve Jobs’ intuition played a significant role in recognizing the potential of the graphical user interface (GUI) for personal computers. He saw its user-friendliness and visual appeal, which led to the creation of the Macintosh.
  • Case Study: George Lucas trusted his intuition when he created “Star Wars.” The film industry was skeptical, but Lucas believed in the originality of his space opera concept and it became a cultural phenomenon.

3. Overcoming Confirmation Bias:

  • Concept: People tend to favor ideas that confirm their existing beliefs and biases. Recognizing original ideas often requires overcoming confirmation bias and being open to diverse perspectives.
  • Example: In the 1970s, Xerox developed the first personal computer, the Alto. However, Xerox executives were primarily focused on their copier business and failed to recognize the originality of the computer, allowing others like Apple to seize the opportunity.
  • Case Study: The development of the Post-it Note by 3M is a prime example. An employee at 3M, Spencer Silver, created a weak adhesive, which seemed like a failed project. It was only when another employee, Art Fry, recognized its potential for creating bookmarks that the original idea gained traction.

4. Diverse Perspectives and Dissent:

  • Concept: Encouraging diverse perspectives and dissent within organizations can lead to the recognition of original ideas. Employees who feel comfortable challenging the status quo can drive innovation.
  • Example: Google encourages its employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects. This policy led to the creation of Gmail, which was initially seen as a diversion from Google’s core search business.
  • Case Study: NASA’s decision to proceed with the Apollo 13 mission despite technical issues was influenced by the diverse perspectives of engineers who were not afraid to voice concerns. This led to problem-solving and the safe return of the astronauts.

In conclusion, Chapter 2 of “Originals” emphasizes the importance of recognizing original ideas, even when they challenge the status quo. It highlights the role of intuition, the need to overcome confirmation bias, and the value of diverse perspectives and dissent in identifying and supporting groundbreaking concepts. Through examples and case studies, we see how original thinkers and organizations can succeed by embracing and nurturing originality.

Chapter 3: Out on a Limb: Speaking Truth to Power

Chapter 3 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Out on a Limb: Speaking Truth to Power.” In this chapter, Grant discusses the importance of speaking up, challenging authority, and fostering a culture of constructive dissent. We’ll use examples and case studies to illustrate the learnings from this chapter.

1. The Challenge of Speaking Truth to Power:

  • Concept: Speaking truth to power involves expressing dissenting opinions or offering critical feedback to those in authority. This can be challenging due to the fear of backlash or negative consequences.
  • Example: During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, President John F. Kennedy faced pressure from his advisors to take a more aggressive approach. However, one dissenting voice, that of Robert F. Kennedy, the President’s brother, supported a diplomatic solution, which ultimately prevailed and avoided a nuclear conflict.
  • Case Study: Enron’s downfall is a stark example of what can happen when dissenting voices are silenced. Employees and auditors who raised concerns about unethical practices were often ignored or silenced, leading to one of the largest corporate fraud scandals in history.

2. The Value of Devil’s Advocacy:

  • Concept: Devil’s advocacy is the practice of intentionally questioning and challenging ideas or decisions to identify potential flaws or weaknesses. It helps decision-makers make more informed choices.
  • Example: In the field of medicine, the concept of peer review involves experts critically assessing research and medical practices. This process often identifies errors or areas for improvement, ultimately leading to better patient care.
  • Case Study: The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 resulted from a combination of design flaws and human errors. Engineers and scientists who voiced concerns about safety issues were ignored, illustrating the consequences of failing to embrace devil’s advocacy.

3. Psychological Safety:

  • Concept: Psychological safety is a crucial element in fostering a culture where individuals feel comfortable speaking up without fear of retribution. It is essential for encouraging dissenting voices.
  • Example: Google’s Project Aristotle aimed to understand the factors that make teams successful. One key factor identified was psychological safety, where team members felt safe to express their opinions and challenge ideas without fear of ridicule.
  • Case Study: The aviation industry places a strong emphasis on psychological safety in the form of a “culture of safety.” This culture encourages pilots and crew members to report safety concerns without fear of blame, contributing to aviation’s excellent safety record.

4. Inclusive Leadership:

  • Concept: Inclusive leaders actively seek and value diverse perspectives, including dissenting opinions. They create an environment where employees feel empowered to speak up.
  • Example: Abraham Lincoln is often regarded as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. He surrounded himself with a “team of rivals,” including individuals who had opposed him in the 1860 presidential election, to ensure he received diverse advice.
  • Case Study: Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has transformed the company’s culture by encouraging a growth mindset and valuing dissenting opinions. This approach has led to innovation and a revival of the company’s fortunes.

In conclusion, Chapter 3 of “Originals” highlights the critical importance of speaking truth to power, embracing devil’s advocacy, fostering psychological safety, and practicing inclusive leadership. Through examples and case studies, we see how organizations and individuals benefit from a culture that encourages dissenting voices, leading to better decision-making, innovation, and ethical conduct.

Chapter 4: Fools Rush In: Timing, Strategic Procrastination, and the First-Mover Disadvantage

Chapter 4 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Fools Rush In: Timing, Strategic Procrastination, and the First-Mover Disadvantage.” In this chapter, Grant delves into the importance of timing in innovation and decision-making. He argues that sometimes it’s better to delay action rather than rush into a new venture.

1. Timing and Innovation:

  • Concept: Timing is a critical factor in the success of innovative ideas and ventures. Acting too early or too late can have significant consequences.
  • Example: Apple’s Newton MessagePad, introduced in 1993, was a pioneering handheld device. However, it was ahead of its time and faced technical limitations, resulting in poor sales. It wasn’t until 2007, with the introduction of the iPhone, that the market was truly ready for a successful handheld device.
  • Case Study: The video streaming platform Netflix initially started as a DVD-by-mail service in 1997. It strategically procrastinated on streaming until broadband internet and consumer behavior aligned in its favor, making it one of the most successful streaming services.

2. The First-Mover Disadvantage:

  • Concept: While being the first mover in a market can have advantages, it can also come with disadvantages. Early entrants often face the challenges of uncertainty and market immaturity.
  • Example: Friendster was one of the earliest social networking sites, predating Facebook. However, it couldn’t scale effectively and eventually lost market share to Facebook, which entered the scene later but at a more opportune time.
  • Case Study: Kodak was an early innovator in digital photography, but it clung to its film-based business model, believing digital technology would cannibalize film sales. This hesitance led to the company’s decline.

3. Strategic Procrastination:

  • Concept: Strategic procrastination involves delaying action until the right conditions align. It allows individuals and organizations to better position themselves for success.
  • Example: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, initially focused on serving college campuses before expanding to a broader audience. This strategic approach allowed Facebook to establish a strong user base before competing with established social networks.
  • Case Study: Slack, a popular workplace communication tool, was created as an internal project within a gaming company. The founders wisely decided to spin it off as a separate company, recognizing the potential for a dedicated communication platform for businesses.

4. The Importance of Adaptability:

  • Concept: In a rapidly changing world, adaptability is crucial. Delaying action to gather more information or wait for the right moment requires flexibility and a willingness to change course.
  • Example: IBM was a dominant force in the computer industry, but it missed the shift to personal computers in the 1980s. It later adapted by embracing services and consulting, transforming its business model.
  • Case Study: Apple’s ability to pivot from a struggling computer company to a leader in consumer electronics is remarkable. The release of the iPod, followed by the iPhone and iPad, showcased its adaptability and understanding of market timing.

In conclusion, Chapter 4 of “Originals” underscores the significance of timing in innovation and decision-making. It suggests that strategic procrastination can sometimes be a more effective approach than rushing into ventures. By examining examples and case studies, we see how successful individuals and organizations strategically navigate the challenges of timing and adaptability to achieve long-term success in a dynamic world.

Chapter 5: Goldilocks and the Trojan Horse

Chapter 5 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Goldilocks and the Trojan Horse: Creating and Maintaining Coalitions.” In this chapter, Grant discusses the importance of building and sustaining alliances, partnerships, and coalitions to drive change and achieve success.

1. The Power of Coalitions:

  • Concept: Coalitions are groups of individuals or organizations that come together to achieve a common goal. Building effective coalitions can be instrumental in driving change and making a positive impact.
  • Example: The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a powerful coalition of various organizations, including the NAACP, SNCC, and SCLC, along with individual leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. Together, they worked to end racial segregation and discrimination.
  • Case Study: The Paris Agreement on climate change is a global coalition of countries committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This coalition represents a coordinated effort to combat climate change on a worldwide scale.

2. The Goldilocks Principle:

  • Concept: The Goldilocks principle emphasizes the importance of finding the right balance in coalition-building. A coalition should be neither too big nor too small; it should be just right to achieve its objectives.
  • Example: During the American Revolution, the colonies formed a coalition to fight against British rule. They needed a balance between unity and autonomy, and the Continental Congress provided the right level of coordination without centralized control.
  • Case Study: The European Union (EU) is an example of a successful coalition that aims to balance the sovereignty of member states with the need for collective action on issues such as trade, security, and environmental policy.

3. The Trojan Horse Strategy:

  • Concept: The Trojan Horse strategy involves embedding an idea or change within an existing organization or structure to facilitate its acceptance.
  • Example: The Open Source software movement used the Trojan Horse strategy effectively by embedding open-source code within proprietary software systems. Over time, this approach led to broader acceptance of open-source principles.
  • Case Study: Airbnb used a Trojan Horse strategy to gain acceptance in the hospitality industry. By initially focusing on renting out rooms in people’s homes, it gradually expanded into a more significant disruption of the hotel industry.

4. Maintaining Coalitions:

  • Concept: Sustaining a coalition’s effectiveness over time requires ongoing effort, trust-building, and adapting to changing circumstances.
  • Example: NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is a long-standing military alliance between North American and European countries. Its ability to adapt to changing security challenges has allowed it to maintain its relevance since its founding in 1949.
  • Case Study: The African Union (AU) is a continental coalition that addresses political, economic, and security challenges in Africa. It has evolved and expanded its focus over time to address changing needs and priorities on the continent.

In conclusion, Chapter 5 of “Originals” underscores the importance of creating and maintaining coalitions to achieve common goals and drive change. By examining examples and case studies, we see how effective coalition-building, the Goldilocks principle, and the Trojan Horse strategy can be powerful tools for individuals and organizations seeking to make a positive impact and achieve lasting success.

Chapter 6: Rebel with a Cause

Chapter 6 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Rebel with a Cause: How Siblings, Parents, and Mentors Nurture Originality.” In this chapter, Grant explores the impact of family dynamics, particularly the influence of siblings, parents, and mentors, in nurturing originality and encouraging individuals to think creatively and independently.

1. Sibling Dynamics:

  • Concept: Siblings can have a profound influence on each other’s development, including their creativity and originality. Sibling relationships can either foster competition or collaboration, leading to different outcomes.
  • Example: The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, are a famous example of siblings collaborating to achieve a groundbreaking invention: the first powered airplane. Their partnership and shared passion for aviation were instrumental in their success.
  • Case Study: The artistic rivalry between Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo played a role in Vincent’s development as a painter. Theo supported Vincent financially and emotionally, allowing him to pursue his artistic vision.

2. Parental Influence:

  • Concept: Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s values, attitudes, and beliefs. Supportive and nurturing parents can encourage originality and independent thinking.
  • Example: The Beatles’ success can be attributed in part to their parents’ support. John Lennon’s mother, Julia, introduced him to music, while Paul McCartney’s father, Jim, supported his interest in songwriting.
  • Case Study: Elon Musk’s parents nurtured his curiosity and creativity. His mother, Maye Musk, is a dietitian and model, and his father, Errol Musk, was an electromechanical engineer. Their backgrounds influenced Elon’s multidisciplinary approach to innovation.

3. Mentorship and Role Models:

  • Concept: Mentors and role models can provide guidance, encouragement, and inspiration to individuals pursuing original ideas and paths. They offer valuable insights and support.
  • Example: Albert Einstein had a mentor named Max Talmud who introduced him to advanced mathematics and science. Talmud’s guidance played a significant role in Einstein’s development as a physicist.
  • Case Study: Oprah Winfrey has often cited Maya Angelou as her mentor and role model. Angelou’s wisdom and guidance influenced Winfrey’s career and personal growth.

4. Nurturing Environment:

  • Concept: The family and mentorship environments should encourage exploration, experimentation, and learning from failure. Creating a nurturing environment fosters originality.
  • Example: The Montessori educational approach, developed by Maria Montessori, emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and hands-on learning. This method encourages children to explore their interests and develop creativity.
  • Case Study: Google’s “20% time” policy allowed employees to spend 20% of their work hours on personal projects. This policy led to innovative products like Gmail and Google Maps, fostering a culture of creativity and experimentation.

In conclusion, Chapter 6 of “Originals” underscores the significance of familial and mentorship influences in nurturing originality and fostering creative thinking. Through examples and case studies, we see how siblings, parents, and mentors can have a profound impact on individuals’ development, encouraging them to rebel with a cause and pursue innovative ideas that shape the world.

Chapter 7: Rethinking Groupthink: The Myths of Strong Cultures, Cults, and Devil’s Advocates

Chapter 7 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Rethinking Groupthink: The Myths of Strong Cultures, Cults, and Devil’s Advocates.” In this chapter, Grant delves into the dynamics of groupthink, organizational culture, and the role of dissent within groups.

1. The Dangers of Groupthink:

  • Concept: Groupthink is a phenomenon where individuals within a group prioritize consensus and harmony over critical thinking and independent decision-making. This can lead to flawed decisions and a lack of innovation.
  • Example: The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 is a tragic example of groupthink. NASA engineers were aware of potential issues with the O-rings in cold temperatures but succumbed to pressure and ignored dissenting voices, resulting in a catastrophic failure.
  • Case Study: Enron, a once-prominent energy company, is another case of groupthink. Executives at Enron ignored warnings and dissenting opinions about unethical financial practices, leading to its collapse.

2. The Myth of Strong Cultures:

  • Concept: While organizational culture is important, excessively strong cultures can stifle dissent and discourage innovation. A balance between culture and the freedom to dissent is crucial.
  • Example: IBM had a strong culture that valued tradition and conformity, which hindered innovation. However, under the leadership of Lou Gerstner, IBM underwent a cultural shift that encouraged more open dialogue and innovation.
  • Case Study: Zappos, an online shoe retailer, has a unique culture that emphasizes creativity and individuality. Their approach to culture allows employees to express themselves and contribute to innovation.

3. The Devil’s Advocate Role:

  • Concept: The Devil’s Advocate role involves appointing someone within a group to challenge prevailing opinions and assumptions. This role can prevent groupthink and lead to better decisions.
  • Example: President John F. Kennedy famously appointed his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, as a Devil’s Advocate during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Robert’s dissenting views helped the administration consider alternative solutions.
  • Case Study: Pixar, the animation studio, has a culture of constructive criticism and feedback. They use the “Braintrust” concept, where colleagues provide candid and critical input on each other’s work, improving the creative process.

4. Promoting Constructive Dissent:

  • Concept: Encouraging dissent within organizations involves creating an environment where individuals feel safe to voice their opinions without fear of retribution.
  • Example: Google’s “Dory” platform allows employees to ask questions and provide feedback anonymously. This fosters a culture of open communication and allows for constructive dissent.
  • Case Study: The U.S. military uses a formalized process called “Red Teaming” to challenge plans and strategies. This practice helps identify weaknesses and improve decision-making.

In conclusion, Chapter 7 of “Originals” challenges the conventional notions of strong cultures, cult-like organizations, and the role of dissent within groups. It emphasizes the importance of promoting constructive dissent as a means to prevent groupthink, encourage innovation, and make better decisions. Through examples and case studies, we see how organizations and leaders can rethink group dynamics and create environments that value critical thinking and diverse perspectives.

Chapter 8: Rocking the Boat and Keeping It Steady

Chapter 8 of “Originals” by Adam Grant, titled “Rocking the Boat and Keeping It Steady: Managing Anxiety, Apathy, Ambivalence, and Anger.” In this chapter, Grant discusses the emotional challenges individuals and organizations face when navigating change and innovation. 1. Managing Anxiety:

  • Concept: Anxiety is a common emotional response to change and uncertainty. Effective leaders and individuals learn to manage anxiety by acknowledging it and reframing it as excitement.
  • Example: In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs returned to Apple, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. His leadership and ability to manage anxiety within the organization led to the successful introduction of the iMac and the beginning of Apple’s resurgence.
  • Case Study: SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, faced anxiety-inducing challenges in its early days, including multiple rocket failures. Musk’s unwavering commitment to his vision helped him manage anxiety and drive the company’s success.

2. Overcoming Apathy:

  • Concept: Apathy can set in when individuals or organizations become complacent or lose their sense of purpose. Overcoming apathy requires reigniting passion and purpose.
  • Example: Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, was concerned about the company’s declining quality and employee morale. He decided to step down temporarily to regain his passion and perspective. This break allowed him to return and lead a successful transformation of the company.
  • Case Study: IBM faced apathy in the early 1990s as it struggled to adapt to a changing market. Lou Gerstner, IBM’s CEO at the time, revitalized the company by emphasizing customer focus and innovation.

3. Addressing Ambivalence:

  • Concept: Ambivalence involves mixed feelings or uncertainty about change. Leaders must address ambivalence by providing clear direction and a compelling vision for the future.
  • Example: Netflix, led by Reed Hastings, faced ambivalence when transitioning from a DVD rental service to a streaming platform. Hastings communicated a clear vision for the company’s future, which helped employees embrace the change.
  • Case Study: The Ford Motor Company experienced ambivalence when Alan Mulally became CEO. He addressed the ambivalence by fostering a culture of open communication and focusing on a shared vision of Ford’s future success.

4. Dealing with Anger:

  • Concept: Anger can arise when individuals or organizations face resistance to change or encounter setbacks. Managing anger involves addressing concerns and channeling it into productive action.
  • Example: Nelson Mandela faced anger and resentment when he was released from prison and worked to dismantle apartheid in South Africa. His leadership and ability to channel anger into reconciliation were instrumental in the nation’s transition.
  • Case Study: In the tech industry, Facebook faced backlash and anger over privacy concerns and data breaches. Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the anger and pledged to improve the platform’s security and user privacy.

In conclusion, Chapter 8 of “Originals” emphasizes the emotional challenges associated with change and innovation. It highlights the importance of managing anxiety, overcoming apathy, addressing ambivalence, and dealing with anger as critical components of effective leadership and organizational success. Through examples and case studies, we see how leaders who navigate these emotions skillfully can drive positive change and achieve their goals.

Additional Reading

If you enjoyed “Originals” by Adam Grant and are looking for similar books that explore creativity, innovation, and non-conformity, here are some recommendations:

  1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink – Pink explores the science of motivation and how autonomy, mastery, and purpose drive creativity and innovation.
  2. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries – This book focuses on the principles of lean thinking and how they can be applied to startups and established organizations to foster innovation.
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Duckworth examines the importance of passion and perseverance in achieving long-term goals and making a meaningful impact.
  4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck – Dweck explores the concept of a growth mindset and how it can lead to increased creativity, resilience, and achievement.
  5. “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace – Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, shares insights on fostering a creative culture within organizations.
  6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell investigates the factors that contribute to success and highlights the importance of unique opportunities and circumstances.
  7. “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” by Clayton Christensen – This book explores the challenges faced by established companies when disruptive innovations emerge and provides insights into managing innovation.
  8. “Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing” by Robert Wolff – This book offers a unique perspective on creativity and innovation by exploring the wisdom of indigenous cultures.
  9. “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – The Heath brothers provide strategies for making meaningful changes in both personal and organizational settings.
  10. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg – Duhigg examines the science of habit formation and how changing habits can lead to increased creativity and productivity.

These books explore various aspects of creativity, innovation, and personal development, offering valuable insights and practical advice for those interested in making a positive impact and embracing their originality.