21. October 2016 · Comments Off on Favorite Quotes from the Originals by Adam Grant: Part One · Categories: Uncategorized



Favorite Quotes from the Originals by Adam Grant: Part One

“Justifying the default system serves a soothing function. It’s an emotional painkiller: If the world is supposed to be this way, we don’t need to be dissatisfied with it. But acquiescence also robs us of the moral outrage to stand against injustice and creative will to consider ways that the world could work. The hall mark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.” (p. 7)

“Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.” (p. 105)

“Conceptual innovators formulate a big idea and set out to execute it. Experimental innovators solve problems through trial and error, learning and evolving as they go along. They are at work on a particular problem, but they don’t have a specific solution in mind at the outset. Instead of planning in advance they figure it out as they go.” (p. 109-110)

“Researchers Debra Meyerson and Maureen Scully have found that to succeed, originals must often become tempered radicals. They believe in values that depart from traditions and ideas that go against the grain, yet they learn to tone down their radicalism by presenting their beliefs and ideas in ways that are less shocking and more appealing to mainstream audiences.” (p. 124)

“Our instinct is to sever our bad relationships and salvage the ambivalent ones. But the evidence suggests we ought to do the opposite: cut our frenemies and attempt to convert our enemies.” (p.131)

“The most promising ideas begin from novelty and then add familiarity…”(p. 136)

“Instead of assuming that others share our principles, or trying to convince them to adopt ours, we ought to present our values as a means of pursuing theirs. It’s hard to change other people’s ideals. It’s much easier to link our agendas to familiar values that people already hold.” (p. 140)

“According to eminent Standford professor James March, when many of us make decisions, we follow a logic of consequence: Which course of action will produce the best result? If you’re like (Jackie) Robinson, and you consistently challenge the status quo, you operate differently, using instead a logic of appropriateness: What does a person like me do in a situation like this? Rather than looking outward in an attempt to predict the outcome, you turn inward to your identity. You base the decision on who you are-or who you want to be.” (p.154)

“When our character is praised, we internalize it as part of our identities. Instead of seeing ourselves as engaging in isolated moral acts, we start to develop a more unified self-concept as a moral person. (p. 168)”

“When we shift our emphasis from behavior to character, people evaluate choices differently. Instead of asking whether this behavior will achieve the results they want, they take action because it is the right thing to do. (p. 170)”

“If we want to encourage originality, the best step we can take is to raise our children’s aspirations by introducing them to different kinds of role models.” (p. 171)

“Remarkably, there are studies showing that when children’s stories emphasize original achievements, the next generation innovates more.” (p. 173)

“Founders with a commitment blueprint went about hiring differently. Skills and potential were fine, but cultural fit was a must. The top priority was to employ people who matched the company’s values and norms. The commitment blueprint involved a unique approach to motivation, too. Whereas founders with professional and star blueprints gave employees autonomy and challenging tasks, those with commitment blueprints worked to build strong emotional bonds among employees and to the organization. They often used words like family and love to describe the companionship in the organization, and employees tended to be intensely passionate about the mission. ….. When founders had a commitment blueprint, the failure rate of their firms was zero-not a single one of them went out of business.” (p. 180)

“Dissenting opinions are useful even when they’re wrong.” (p. 185)

“While it can be appealing to assign a devil’s advocate, it’s much more powerful to unearth one. When people are designated to dissent, they’re just playing a role. This causes two problems: They don’t argue forcefully or consistently enough for the minority viewpoint, and group members are less likely to take them seriously.” (p. 193)

“Dissenting for the sake of dissenting is not useful. It is also not useful if it is ‘pretend dissent’-for example, if role-played,” Nemeth (Charlan Nemeth Berkely psychologist) explains. “It is not useful if motivated by considerations other than searching for the truth or the best solutions. But when it is authentic, it stimulates thought; it clarifies and it emboldens.” (p. 193)

“By building a culture in which people are constantly encouraging one another to disagree, Dalio (CEO Ray Dalio of Bridgwater) has created a powerful way to combat conformity. Yet the kind of disagreement he seeks is the opposite of what most leaders invite.” (p. 196)

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