How Non-Conformists Move the World
by Adam Grant | Viking © 2016 · 336 pages

Adam Grant is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and the top-ranked Professor at Wharton. He’s also a great writer. In Originals, we take a look at “How Non-Conformists Move the World.” Big Ideas we explore in the Note include vuja de, creating a ton of stuff, activating your GO! system when fear strikes, the fact that venting just fuels anger (and why empathetic anger is where it’s at), and how proper revolutions are less about cataclysmic explosions and more about long, controlled burns.

If a handful of people hadn’t been cajoled into taking original action, America might not exist, the civil rights movement could still be a dream, the Sistine Chapel might be bare, we might still believe the sun revolves around the earth, and the personal computer might never have been popularized.
Adam Grant

“Having revealed that originals often begin by questioning defaults and balancing risk portfolios, the rest of this book is about closing the gap between insight and action. Once you have a new idea, how do you champion it effectively? As an organizational psychologist at Wharton, I’ve spent more than a decade studying originality in a wide range of settings, from technology companies and banks to schools, hospitals, and governments. I’ve also sought out some of the most prominent originals of our time, and I want to share their wisdom about how we can all be more original without jeopardizing our relationships, reputations, and careers. I hope my findings will help people develop the courage and strategies to pursue originality, and give leaders the knowledge necessary to create cultures of originality in their teams and organizations. …

Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try.”

~ Adam Grant from Originals

First, a definition:

orig•i•nal, n A thing of singular or unique character; a person who is different from other people in an appealing or interesting way; a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity.

Adam Grant is an Original—one of the world’s leading management thinkers and the top-rated Professor at Wharton for the last four years. He’s also a great writer and storyteller.

This book is packed with stories of Originals and how they became extraordinary along with a range of fascinating, often counterintuitive research studies giving us clues as to how WE can tap into our potential and express our originality. (Get the book here.)

I’m excited to take a quick look at a handful of my favorite super practical Ideas we can apply today so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Adam Grant

Wharton professor, author and New York Times writer on work and psychology.