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Originals
Cover of Originals
Originals
How Non-Conformists Move the World
Borrow Borrow
The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas in their careers and everyday life—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Think Again and co-author of Option B

“Filled with fresh insights on a broad array of topics that are important to our personal and professional lives.”—The New York Times DealBook

Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
 
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. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas in their careers and everyday life—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Think Again and co-author of Option B

“Filled with fresh insights on a broad array of topics that are important to our personal and professional lives.”—The New York Times DealBook

Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
 
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. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
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  • From the book

    Foreword

    Adam Grant is the perfect person to write Originals because he is one.

    He is a brilliant researcher who passionately pursues the science of what motivates people, busting myths and revealing truths. He is an informed optimist who offers insights and advice about how anyone—at home, at work, in the community—can make the world a better place. He is a dedicated friend who inspires me to believe in myself and has helped me understand how I can advocate effectively for my ideas.

    Adam is one of the most important influences in my life. Through the pages of this magnificent book, he will enlighten, inspire, and support you as well.

    MYTH BUSTER

    Conventional wisdom holds that some people are innately creative, while most have few original thoughts. Some people are born to be leaders, and the rest are followers. Some people can have real impact, but the majority can't.

    In Originals Adam shatters all of these assumptions.

    He demonstrates that any of us can enhance our creativity. He reveals how we can identify ideas that are truly original and predict which ones will work. He tells us when to trust our gut and when to rely on others. He shows how we can become better parents by nurturing originality in our children and better managers by fostering diversity of thought instead of conformity.

    In these pages, I learned that great creators don't necessarily have the deepest expertise but rather seek out the broadest perspectives. I saw how success is not usually attained by being ahead of everyone else but by waiting patiently for the right time to act. And to my utter shock, I learned that procrastinating can be good. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows how much I hate leaving things to the last minute, how I always think that anything that can be done should be done right away. Mark Zuckerberg, along with many others, will be pleased if I can let go of the relentless pressure I feel to finish everything early—and, as Adam points out, it might just help me and my teams achieve better results.

    INFORMED OPTIMIST

    Every day, we all encounter things we love and things that need to change. The former give us joy. The latter fuel our desire to make the world different—ideally better than the way we found it. But trying to change deep-seated beliefs and behaviors is daunting. We accept the status quo because effecting real change seems impossible. Still, we dare to ask: Can one individual make a difference? And, in our bravest moments: Could that one individual be me?

    Adam's answer is a resounding yes. This book proves that any one of us can champion ideas that improve the world around us.

    FRIEND

    I met Adam just as his first book, Give and Take, was generating buzz in Silicon Valley. I read it and immediately started quoting it to anyone who would listen. Adam was not only a talented researcher but also a gifted teacher and storyteller who was able to explain complicated ideas simply and clearly.

    Then my husband invited Adam to speak to his team at work and brought him over for dinner. Adam was every bit as extraordinary in person as he was on paper. His knowledge was encyclopedic and his energy was contagious. He and I started talking about how his research could inform the debate on gender and began working together. We have done so ever since, conducting research and writing a series of op-eds about women and work. LeanIn.Org has benefited immensely from his rigorous analysis and commitment to equality.

    Once a year, Facebook brings its global teams together, and in 2015 I invited Adam to give a keynote speech. Everyone was blown...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 14, 2015
    Wharton professor Grant (Give and Take) considers himself a huge fan of innovation—yet, as he confides in this solid business guide, he passed up the opportunity to invest in eyeglass brand Warby Parker in its infancy, the “worst decision” he ever made. He goes on to propose that the trouble with how innovation is currently viewed in contemporary society is that both consumers and investors undervalue anything that is less of a game-changer than the new iPhone. In fact, inventors don’t need to be cliff diving risk takers, and originality is far more common than is generally thought. Emphasizing the human tendency to take the default action, the book shows that it takes real verve to overcome that inertia and seek out the better option. Grant’s topics include the need for patience while publicizing an idea, the disadvantage of being the first in with a new idea, and the importance of creating and supporting fans and evangelists. He also discusses nurturing originality in young people and avoiding the pitfalls of close-knit corporate cultures. His approach is mainly descriptive, but does include some concrete steps for would-be innovators to develop their ideas, and for business leaders to support them. With a foreword by Sheryl Sandberg, Grant’s second book should attract as much attention as his bestselling first. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management Literary.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2015
    A blend of old and new--and sometimes original--informs this pop-science piece on creativity and its discontents. Grant (Wharton Business School; Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, 2013) has a flair for the novel and the outwardly puzzling, though the writing is merely capable and the book likely to have "negligible impact" against leviathans such as Daniel Kahneman and Malcolm Gladwell. Unkind words, but Grant sets them up, observing that negative book reviews sound 14 percent smarter than positive ones, so we're being self-serving in our negativity. Self-service is to the point, since, by Grant's account, institutions that are friendly to innovation are also generous of spirit, creating "strong cultures of commitment" and building an atmosphere of love and collegiality, even familiarity. Along the way to discussing how creativity flourishes--and it does indeed hinge on nonconformity, as the subtitle promises, which is by way of saying that it requires risk--Grant lands on such things as how parents encourage children just the right amount: a parent who successfully encourages a child to be independent, an explorer of the world, has to step back and allow that child to find greater models than himself or herself. As Grant puts it, provocatively, "Parents aren't the best role models." Interestingly, the author turns back to the old birth-order hypothesis, in which firstborns and later-borns have different approaches to risk and thus different creative abilities; he finds it to have validity, "a better predictor of personality and behavior than I had expected." Grant sometimes gets tangled in jargon, but he turns up some fascinating tidbits, including the observation that "our intuitions are only accurate in domains where we have a lot of experience"--an insight worth the cover price alone. A mixed bag but of interest to readers looking to jump-start their creative powers and raise quick-witted children.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2015
    In this thought-provoking attempt to redefine the concept of originality, the author of Give and Take (2013) challenges the assumption that people who strive for originality are necessarily risk-takers. He asks us to consider, for example, Scott Adams and Brian May, each of whom kept on with their ordinary jobsAdams at Pacific Bell while he was drawing Dilbert, and May playing lead guitar for Queen while studying astrophysicsuntil they were comfortable turning their attention full-time to their dream pursuits. Oh, and Henry Ford? He kept working for Thomas Edison even while he was revolutionizing the automobile industry. Originality, the author argues, isn't risk-taking; it's finding a new idea and developing it, often while minimizing personal risk. To be original, we must question defaults (which appears to be the author's way of saying, Think outside the box), develop a new idea slowly and carefully, and hold off on taking the big, no-turning-back leap until we are confident of success. The message here should comfort the timid nonconformist in us all: you can be original, but you don't have to be reckless about it.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2016

    Originals are people with creative ideas that defy the traditional, but when their visions are made reality the world is improved. Grant (Class of 1965 Wharton Professor of Management, Wharton Sch., Univ. of Pennsylvania; Give and Take) thoroughly outlines his goals for the book, including at the beginning of each chapter a statement of purpose so readers have clear expectations. The author cites research and studies in a wide variety of fields to emphasize points and presents information in an entertaining and readable manner. According to Grant, the factors that lead to success include volume of work, birth order, coalition formation, fighting Groupthink, and the difference in strategy between a young genius and an old master. Even procrastination plays a role, as being a "first mover" can have definite disadvantages. While originals may have a battle to make the world a better place, Grant includes many examples, ideas, and encouragements for those who wish to try. He concludes the book with 30 practical actions to unleash originality. VERDICT No matter whether the reader is an original or a wannabe, this book is enjoyable and full of useful information. [See Prepub Alert, 8/24/15.]--Bonnie A. Tollefson, Rogue Valley Manor Lib., Medford, OR

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    September 15, 2015

    Wharton's top-rated teacher and among Fortune's Top 40 Business Professors Under 40, Grant goes against the grain by arguing that success is most easily achieved by going against the grain--that is, by fighting for new ideas and norms. Since his Give and Take was a New York Times best seller and an Amazon, Apple, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal best book, expect readership.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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