Pre Thinking
How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.” (Official Ted Web Site)

Who is he?

After years of studying the dynamics of success and productivity in the workplace, Adam Grant discovered a powerful and often overlooked motivator: helping others. “For Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity.” — New York Times Magazine, March 27, 2013. (Op cit.)

Why you should view?

In his groundbreaking book Give and Take, top-rated Wharton professor Adam Grant upended decades of conventional motivational thinking with the thesis that giving unselfishly to colleagues or clients can lead to one’s own long-term success. Grant’s research has led hundreds of advice seekers (and HR departments) to his doorstep, and it’s changing the way leaders view their work forces.

Grant’s new book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World examines how unconventional thinkers overturn the status quo and champion game-changing ideas. (Op cit)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is an “original”? Can you name two that Grant has overlooked?
  2. What are Grant’s research methods?
  3. How do “originals” affect the world environment?
  4. How does the environment affect the “original”?
  5. What is the reciprocal effect of the “original “on the environment and vice versa?
  6. What does he say are the characteristics of a precrastinator?
  7. What is the role of fear?



Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
Adam Grant
Viking, 2016

My talk is based on the ideas in this book—I explore how individuals can champion new ideas, leaders can fight groupthink, and parents can raise creative children.

Fear Is Boring, and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life
Elizabeth Gilbert

The starting point for creativity is curiosity. This brilliant reflection covers that ground and much more.

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate
Tim Urban
Wait But Why

A hilarious, insightful post on Wait But Why about the dark side of procrastination. I read it while teaching myself to procrastinate.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Dan Pink
Riverhead Books, 2006

This fascinating book convinced me that the MFA might be the new MBA, and offers a host of fun, practical steps for becoming more original

The Problem With Best Practices
Shane Snow
Fast Company, October 2015

Beware of following best practices: you might just become the average of all the people who conform to them.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Crown Business, 2010

My favorite read on shifting sticky attitudes and actions

How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off
Adam Grant
The New York Times

I wrote this to show Tiger Moms and Lombardi Dads that practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Sheryl Sandberg
Knopf, 2013

An eye-opening, inspiring, and evidence-based book on overcoming fear and doubt to improve the world for women—and men.


What some more creativity in your life in 2017? Try looking at the world from a new point of view.
Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.

The surprising habits of original thinkers with Adam Grant


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>