Hot Best Seller

Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World

Availability: Ready to download

The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink “Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outlier The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink “Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point “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becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions.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. From the Hardcover edition.


Compare

The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink “Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outlier The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink “Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point “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. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kony

    I beg to differ with Sheryl Sandberg. This isn't a cutting-edge primer on what it takes to be "original." It's a pleasantly readable, if mediocre, collection of findings and anecdotes that are more-or-less related to the notion of fostering creativity/success. Earnest? Yes. The author applies his formula with zest: he starts each chapter with a "hook," spaces out his anecdotes, sprinkles in previews to build suspense, and distills each story into a pithy moral. He tries hard to keep us engaged a I beg to differ with Sheryl Sandberg. This isn't a cutting-edge primer on what it takes to be "original." It's a pleasantly readable, if mediocre, collection of findings and anecdotes that are more-or-less related to the notion of fostering creativity/success. Earnest? Yes. The author applies his formula with zest: he starts each chapter with a "hook," spaces out his anecdotes, sprinkles in previews to build suspense, and distills each story into a pithy moral. He tries hard to keep us engaged and to make us feel like we're learning. Informative? Somewhat. The take-away points are numerous and don't all hang together thematically. To illustrate his points, the author tells the stories of mostly familiar heroes (mostly white guys, except of course MLK) whose underdog narratives are either well-worn or predictable. Original? Not so much. This book joins a growing genre that might be dubbed "how to succeed at being more [X], according to a slew of curated anecdotes and research studies." Like its predecessors, it really wants to be a quotable bestseller, to be shelved next to the Malcolm Gladwell books, and to be bought by MBA types who are really into things like "leverage" and "disruption."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Zoelle

    I got the sense that this book was yet another compilation of blog posts with examples cherrypicked from successful books to support ideas with very little first hand research. The author is critical of other formulaic authors, such as those that write self help books, yet he follows the same formula that those in the pop psych genre have relied upon. The book is a collection of anecdotes slathered with confirmation bias in place of a logic rooted argument. The examples are written in more of an I got the sense that this book was yet another compilation of blog posts with examples cherrypicked from successful books to support ideas with very little first hand research. The author is critical of other formulaic authors, such as those that write self help books, yet he follows the same formula that those in the pop psych genre have relied upon. The book is a collection of anecdotes slathered with confirmation bias in place of a logic rooted argument. The examples are written in more of an infotainment style than the likes of Thinking Fast & Slow, yet it does not make up for the lack of detailed critical analysis with an engaging narrative as Malcolm Gladwell masterfully executes with his books. One example that really stuck with me as lacking any scientific validity was the phrasing of the sign which instructed doctors to wash their hands. A 10% increase was reported when the sign mentioned getting others sick rather than protecting themselves. The study relied on weighing the hand gel to determine the amount used and, "...there were professionals on each unit doing covert observations of whether you washed according to guidelines before and after patient contact." There are so many flaws in the "study" that to include it as evidence of people responding to a more "why" centric reason for hand washing is silly. No details are given to even try to sell this as anything but an attempt to create a story to make doctors appear more empathetic. If the sample size was only 20 or so doctors in each group it sure wouldn't take much to swing 10% in either direction. Another section of the book that got me feeling like the information was not very helpful, was the section that droned on and on about the various organizational blueprints employed by companies and how they related to their success or failure. Was it just me, or did Adam just dive into all the examples without giving the reader a comprehensive definition of each? I do not doubt Adam Grant's expertise in organizational psychology. It is just the style in which he presents his rationale that leaves me feeling like he is more of a salesman than educator.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    “Fools rush in.” Those 3 words are the foundation for the recurring theme that Adam Grant reveals through studied research which shakes the dominant mythology of our modern dogma on what it takes to succeed. The myth is that first movers gain a first-to-market advantage. The fact is that “settlers” who enter later, lower their risk of failure compared to the early “pioneers.” The slow-movers also raise their yield of measurable returns. Who is really laughing first and last here? The myth is that “Fools rush in.” Those 3 words are the foundation for the recurring theme that Adam Grant reveals through studied research which shakes the dominant mythology of our modern dogma on what it takes to succeed. The myth is that first movers gain a first-to-market advantage. The fact is that “settlers” who enter later, lower their risk of failure compared to the early “pioneers.” The slow-movers also raise their yield of measurable returns. Who is really laughing first and last here? The myth is that genius triumphs in youth. The reality is that older wisdom does in fact have value and measured results, particularly in the wealth of accumulated experimental insights. The myth is that procrastination is a recipe for disaster. The reality is that procrastination (aka waiting) may in fact be the measured recipe for provoking more creative output as judged by multiple observers. The myth is that first borns have an innate advantage compared to later siblings. The reality is that later birth ordered children have demonstrable abilities to take risks that older siblings avoid and these calculating risk-takers succeed in higher ratios. If your are ready to stop believing the dogma of what it takes to succeed and start questioning the mythology of success then you must read this book. This is Adam Grant’s magnum opus, a true Original, that asks you to rightly question with fact all that has been heralded as the truth about success.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Aloysius

    Ironically, this book contains very few original ideas on it's own

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd Fassett

    1/31/16 The author wrote an interesting synopsis for the nyts here: How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off http://nyti.ms/1nv0ZIj 3/14/16 I appreciated learning about a company that seriously promotes dissenting opinions as well as social science experiments. It's great to know they exist, but the book didnt match my expectations set by the title at all. These are anecdotes about successful people. It's not about nonconformists or originals. There are many Social Science tests discussed. 1/31/16 The author wrote an interesting synopsis for the nyts here: How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off http://nyti.ms/1nv0ZIj 3/14/16 I appreciated learning about a company that seriously promotes dissenting opinions as well as social science experiments. It's great to know they exist, but the book didnt match my expectations set by the title at all. These are anecdotes about successful people. It's not about nonconformists or originals. There are many Social Science tests discussed. Setting up the tests themselves are interesting ideas, but the audio book never mentions the sample sizes or if any experiments have been able to recreate results, so you don't know how real the implications are. He deals with how relatively little decisions are made where the main gist is to get people to just be more open minded and less dogmatic. I would have found it much more interesting if he analyzed decision making in war where people die based on your decisions. I would have appreciated some insights into failed artists. It seems that would be easy to find people who create original art, but do not become successful by doing so. I would have appreciated a discussion of the book Moby Dick, which I think is very original and would have been lost to history if an influential book publisher hadn't happened into an old copy of what was an obscure book at the time. Point is, success isn't a key driver of Original. The author never puts that in context. The book is misnamed. He doesn't define what is original or give a framework to discuss it. He takes a lot of successful people and goes backward to see how they got there implying that they are an Original because they are successful. I would get a lot more out of the author pointing out unsuccessful Originals. Still, it's interesting to hear about successful people in a casual way. It's better use of time than reading People magazine.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim Lavis

    Originals Two stars are generous. The first 3 or 4 chapters had some value, but the examples that were used, in those chapters, were dated and generic. The author’s credentials seem steer and the reviews were quite good, so you can imagine my surprise when I found the content to be so remedial. The remaining chapters seemed trite and had little value. It’s sad. I love to find something worthwhile in this subject matter, so please recommend something if anyone knows of anything worth reading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Strikingly unoriginal for a book on originality. This is a mash-up of other books on pop psychology and whatnot with some personal anecdotes about other people who are original. It's entertaining enough because it's got these counterintuitive ideas like "procrastination is good." The problem is that these are just teasers, because they get hedged with "except when it isn't" or they're just overall gibberish. Take the procrastination example. Grant talks about MLK's famous "I have a dream" speech Strikingly unoriginal for a book on originality. This is a mash-up of other books on pop psychology and whatnot with some personal anecdotes about other people who are original. It's entertaining enough because it's got these counterintuitive ideas like "procrastination is good." The problem is that these are just teasers, because they get hedged with "except when it isn't" or they're just overall gibberish. Take the procrastination example. Grant talks about MLK's famous "I have a dream" speech and he makes it sound like it was great because MLK put it off and then had to pull an all-nighter and then just ad libbed anyway. By the end of the chapter you find out that's all BS, because really the speech was building on a few hundred other speeches he'd delivered and what he was doing was editing and perfecting. This made me think of that recent movie The Darkest Hour, where Winston Churchill was scribbling and rewriting his hugely important speech until the last possible second. That kind of overachieving activity is pretty much the opposite of what most people think of when they hear the word "procrastination." There's something interesting in these speech stories about greatness, but it's not procrastination and I don't even know that it's about originality. Of course, touting the benefits of procrastination is in itself unoriginal and if you want a better book for that I'd recommend: Nerd addendum: Some of the stuff he refers to is books I have read and that contain sloppy science. He doesn't get 1* as they do, precisely because he is not original: he's apparently just somebody who read their books and took them at face value. He doesn't present himself as a scientist. It is concerning though that people might think this is well-researched strong science.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard Newton

    This is a book full of well written chapters with interesting insights based on solid research. It could have been a 5 star book, but struggles for a few reasons. Firstly, it wanders around bringing in some topics which seem to have little to do with the topic of originality. The second issue is similar, it can't seem to decide if it wants to be a book about originality in the situation of entrepreneurship and business, or originality in terms of wider creativity and innovation. Thirdly, some of This is a book full of well written chapters with interesting insights based on solid research. It could have been a 5 star book, but struggles for a few reasons. Firstly, it wanders around bringing in some topics which seem to have little to do with the topic of originality. The second issue is similar, it can't seem to decide if it wants to be a book about originality in the situation of entrepreneurship and business, or originality in terms of wider creativity and innovation. Thirdly, some of the examples used seem to be of successful businesses, but I struggle to see them as hugely original. Finally, the perennial problem of many business books - its very US centric. Don't get me wrong I've got no problem with the US and many of us can learn a lot from US businesses, but there is a wider world out there with plenty of originals in it! An easy read, some useful information, but it does not really live up to the original promise. Still, the good bits and quite good, so it manages 3 stars from me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I read this book in two days. Several times while in the middle of reading it, I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a book written by Malcolm Gladwell. Then, I realized something just as good: I was reading a book by Adam Grant. Grant is quickly becoming one of my favorite thinkers in the field of social science. Pick this book up—it's wildly entertaining, and you'll get so much out of it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This is one of the few self-helpy books that is actually worth reading. Great stories and great tips and very well-written. I really enjoyed it and have thought a lot about it since I read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liza Fireman

    This is one of the best books I have read lately. It has a lot that I already knew, but it added important principals, told great stories, and wrapped it all in great structure. When was the last time you had an original idea and what did you do with it? Originality is scary, and it is conventional wisdom that some people are innately creative, while most have few original thoughts. This is of course far from being the truth, but it is the easy way out of being original. People are afraid to spea This is one of the best books I have read lately. It has a lot that I already knew, but it added important principals, told great stories, and wrapped it all in great structure. When was the last time you had an original idea and what did you do with it? Originality is scary, and it is conventional wisdom that some people are innately creative, while most have few original thoughts. This is of course far from being the truth, but it is the easy way out of being original. People are afraid to speak up and stand out. We worry about the costs of non-conformity, and not wired to embrace uncertainty and ignore social approval. It doesn’t even take a violent dictator to silence us, standing out can be paralyzing and make us to conform to the majority. Even the claim that all inventions are happening by the young geniuses is very wrong. There are plenty of old masters who soar much later. Our most known original creators almost did not make it. Martin Luther King had no intention to lead the civil rights movement, one of the attendees nominated King for the presidency. Michelangelo almost didn't take the project of the Sistine Chapel, he wasn’t interested since he viewed himself as a sculptor, not a painter, and found the task so overwhelming, only the pope’s insistence convinced him. Wozniak did not plan to leave his full time job at HP and join Steve Jobs to start Apple. Even Jerry Seinfeld almost didn't make it. Each one of these almost could change the world. As we see, they are not cut from a completely different cloth and do not have full proof biologicals immunity for risk. They are much better in risk mitigation, and “They take the risk out of risk-taking”. How important it is to excel at your studies to become an inventor/entrepreneur? Funny but the least favorite students for teachers were the non-conformists who made up their own rules. And it seems pretty tragic that practice makes perfect but it doesn't make new. People that follow the rules perform in Carnegie Hall, win the science Olympics, and become chess champions. “only a fraction of gifted children eventually become revolutionary adult creators” If you play it safe by following the conventional paths to success, without questioning, without the drive to change things, you just keep running on a treadmill. Achievement motivation actually drives out originality. Valuing achievement too much, makes people dread failure and go for guaranteed success. So the pressure to achieve leads to do the opposite of creativity and originality. Can we really judge our ideas? Well, not really, but neither the crowds. The "wisdom of crowds" doesn't really hold, it depends on who is the crowd. Peer creators are the ones more open to different kinds of ideas and will best judge other's creators inventions. (It reminded me the jam tasting from Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, which was outstanding, asking people to rate jams. I highly recommend to find and read it). And of course, passion is very important, but is not enough. (Sending you back to Malcolm Gladwell, this time to Outliers: The Story of Success and the ten thousand hours). Bill Sahlman adds: “It’s never the idea; it’s always the execution.” And real creators are hard working people: “They were the kinds of guys who would be in the writer’s room trying to figure out how to fix the second act at midnight. You saw how meticulous Jerry was in his work. That’s the passion you’re looking for.” (Or in Outliers: The Story of Success, The Beatles and their relentless performances, playing for eight hours a day in Hamburg before becoming outstanding). Can we tell who is going to be a better original? For one, Research on highly creative adults shows that they tended to move to new cities much more frequently than their peers in childhood, which gave them exposure to different cultures and values, and encouraged flexibility and adaptability. Being open to change, to new cultures, to new environment makes a difference and further open the mind. Not taking the default and questioning or looking to improve things is another critical trait (even if it is not to accept the defaults of Internet Explorer and Safari). It also makes people happier with their jobs, not to take them as fixed, and to allow themselves to take the initiative to improve their circumstances. But they were the exception, not the rule. Coming with large amount of ideas is also a good signals. There is no quantity against quality. In fact, when it comes to idea generation, quantity is the most predictable path to quality. “Original thinkers,” Stanford professor Robert Sutton notes, “will come up with many ideas that are strange mutations, dead ends, and utter failures. The cost is worthwhile because they also generate a larger pool of ideas—especially novel ideas.” You will find so much more in the book. Emotion regulation and positive thinking (is it really the best to think positive and imagine yourself succeed or to be a defensive pessimist)? How many values or principals are too many and what is that effect? How do our parents affect us? And do they the best role models? And is it gender related? What is worse - your adversaries or your frenemies? Is your position in the family makes a difference in taking risks? Originality brings more bumps in the road, yet it leaves us with more happiness and a greater sense of meaning. Highly recommended and a very important book. Above 4.5 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ian Kelly

    Read this for the EY book club at work. I found it to be mostly weak connections and psychological claims with no real support. It is like a BuzzFeed article turned into a book. There are better books in this genre.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Henry Kimball

    I'm going to have to disagree with Sheryl Sandberg on this one. Not cutting-edge on what mavericks of the society have done to make it big. Grant tells a curated set of stories of familiar heroes that are mostly white guys, except of course of MLK. I wish he included a broader range of stories from other incredible black figures and figures of color -- Native Americans, Latinoamericanos, Asian Americans. Moreover, women of color were entirely written out and only mentioned as "double minorities" I'm going to have to disagree with Sheryl Sandberg on this one. Not cutting-edge on what mavericks of the society have done to make it big. Grant tells a curated set of stories of familiar heroes that are mostly white guys, except of course of MLK. I wish he included a broader range of stories from other incredible black figures and figures of color -- Native Americans, Latinoamericanos, Asian Americans. Moreover, women of color were entirely written out and only mentioned as "double minorities" which paints them as powerless victims, rather than sharing stories of overcoming adversity and fight for equality. Overall, the underdog narratives are either well-worn or predictable. More of a collection of stories that don't necessarily fit together.

  14. 5 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    What does it take to act on an original idea? Are entrepreneurs risk-takers or calculating risk-taker? We learn from the careful research of Adam Grant in ORIGINALS that successful entrepreneurs are careful risk-takers. Instead of jumping off a cliff, these entrepreneurs took calculated risks to begin their business. For example, everyone likes to talk about how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to begin Microsoft. It was through listening to ORIGINALS, I learned Gates took a calculated risk and What does it take to act on an original idea? Are entrepreneurs risk-takers or calculating risk-taker? We learn from the careful research of Adam Grant in ORIGINALS that successful entrepreneurs are careful risk-takers. Instead of jumping off a cliff, these entrepreneurs took calculated risks to begin their business. For example, everyone likes to talk about how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to begin Microsoft. It was through listening to ORIGINALS, I learned Gates took a calculated risk and a “leave of absence” from Harvard. Another fascinating chapter was about the value of procrastination and doing deliberate procrastination. DaVinci delayed completing the Mona Lisa and during those years learned all sorts of lighting techniques that he built into the final painting. Also Grant explains that that people who are prolific--lots of writing and ideas--have more of a chance of having an original idea than people who only write every now and then. It is one of the principles that Grant mentions in his book. I enjoyed listening to this audio book from cover to cover.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pavel Grecu

    A must-read for any person who strives to change the status-quo.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    So I really enjoyed this book, and I can't really figure out why. It's not profound in any way, and a lot of it even takes the form of a shopworn case study, well told. But the best reasoning I can come up with was that it was flattering to me...! Not because I'm particularly original--I'm an attorney, after all--but because it actually lauded a certain kind of restraint that I believe I'm possessed of. The book did not exhort throwing out all conventions, but rather to be sensible and accept res So I really enjoyed this book, and I can't really figure out why. It's not profound in any way, and a lot of it even takes the form of a shopworn case study, well told. But the best reasoning I can come up with was that it was flattering to me...! Not because I'm particularly original--I'm an attorney, after all--but because it actually lauded a certain kind of restraint that I believe I'm possessed of. The book did not exhort throwing out all conventions, but rather to be sensible and accept restraints and to discard conventional thinking within them. Given that I'm a lawyer, the field whose whole "thing" is adhering to convention, I must be either a masochist or highly deluded about the degree to which the above describes my mien. But it at least describes how I think I operate when thinking about social and legal issues, or that I aspire to.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    3.5 stars This is my first audiobook and I think I lost something in the switch from print to spoken voice. This is a book which demands to be read, at least for a person like me who absorbs more from reading than listening. Listening, I felt like I was back in college, especially as I listened in 30 or 45-minute chunks while commuting to and from work. At times I felt it was hard to concentrate (there goes that visual learning bias again - not having a professor standing in front of you, gesturi 3.5 stars This is my first audiobook and I think I lost something in the switch from print to spoken voice. This is a book which demands to be read, at least for a person like me who absorbs more from reading than listening. Listening, I felt like I was back in college, especially as I listened in 30 or 45-minute chunks while commuting to and from work. At times I felt it was hard to concentrate (there goes that visual learning bias again - not having a professor standing in front of you, gesturing, and a notebook at the ready to jot down nuggets of wisdom was detrimental to my listening experience) and I ended up not taking away from this book what I really needed to take away from it - because there's certainly a lot to glean from Originals. What I liked: Grant took some pretty common assumptions (youngest children have reputations for being more rebellious and daring than firstborns) and worked in research from the social sciences (I loved hearing about the experiments) to draw conclusions as to why (firstborns spend more time with adults and being parented by adults, whereas youngest children spend more time with children and being parented by other children [hence less rigidly]; firstborns tend to occupy niches established for them by their parents, whether it's to play golf or be a lawyer, which frees up youngest children to seek less defined niches, whether it's to play baseball or be a stand-up comedian). The research is really interesting, for example the research on stand-up comedians and how the vast majority are middle or youngest children of large families; however, other sections I found to be too explanatory (and also - grasping at straws a little big, as in the section on women's suffrage in the US, which spanned decades in time and was under the leadership of dozens of women and dozens of groups - drawing conclusions on the "originality" behind the movement and what made it work seems too simplistic for such a complex undertaking). I also liked the list at the back of the book, which sums up beautifully all of the points. However, if you're looking for a book that is purely about being original, this is not it. There are sections here on parenting strategies and guidance for child-rearing (for example, instead of asking your child, "Will you share that toy?", which refers to one action, you should appeal to their person and ask, "Are you a sharer?" - not sure how that relates to the topic of originality except by stretches [and far too many paragraphs on the subject]). There are also long sections about procrastination (for me, the social science studies were fascinating; the part where Grant tries to marry this research to MLK Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech is a little bit of a stretch), about political revolutions (I zoned out here), and several other topics I found to be less interesting and frankly less topical. This is not necessarily a book about cultivating or applying originality, although there are really great chunks of gold in this book on those topics, but those sections are hampered by cautionary tales and off-topic research that brings this book down from 4 stars to 3 stars for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I am always on the hunt to learn more about creativity, particularly in the context of leading a team of Outreach librarians and staff. It is one of our top values as a group, even if all of our ideas don't always make it all the way to the top. I appreciated that while Grant starts with startups and well-known innovators, he moves from that angle through many other scenarios - the work place, the CIA, even revolutions! If you haven't read much on creativity lately, he does a good job at consoli I am always on the hunt to learn more about creativity, particularly in the context of leading a team of Outreach librarians and staff. It is one of our top values as a group, even if all of our ideas don't always make it all the way to the top. I appreciated that while Grant starts with startups and well-known innovators, he moves from that angle through many other scenarios - the work place, the CIA, even revolutions! If you haven't read much on creativity lately, he does a good job at consolidating a lot of recent research (including his own - many of the references are for email exchanges or phone conversations that he instigated) and presenting it in a holistic way. Some of it I had seen before but there was a lot of new perspective and new ideas in it for me. Most of it is narrative, instead of the obnoxious bullet points that often fill books in this arena. For where I am professionally, most helpful to me was the discussion of how and when to use your voice, how creative ideas succeed (it may be quantity, and being realistic about how many ideas will really stick out in the end... the numbers weren't great but I needed to hear that one nixed idea is probably not that big of a deal), and how to deal with anger. I will be ordering this book for my library! I received a copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Masa Nishimura

    He tackles lots of popular misconceptions about what it needs to become successful. It shows that you don't need to follow the media image. His writing style is similar to Malcolm Gladwell in that he introduces academic research and creates a compelling story that can stick. Overall, I find this approach really difficult to follow. He throws in lots of numbers, but I don't know which one is based on proper study or just based on 1 case study. He mixes those 2 up so much that I had to be extra ca He tackles lots of popular misconceptions about what it needs to become successful. It shows that you don't need to follow the media image. His writing style is similar to Malcolm Gladwell in that he introduces academic research and creates a compelling story that can stick. Overall, I find this approach really difficult to follow. He throws in lots of numbers, but I don't know which one is based on proper study or just based on 1 case study. He mixes those 2 up so much that I had to be extra careful to find its validity. Also, after reading it, there are not many ideas that lead to actions. All it says is you don't need to follow a certain path. I usually respect this type of "Self help" author who can give guideline, rather than simply tearing down misconception like a pop journalist. It's therefore 3 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lea Espinal

    Following some of the book's advice, which says to ban the words "like", "love" and "hate" when talking about ideas, I'll just say this book presents its ideas on originality and creativity in a palatable way, gives practical advice on how to put them into practice, and connects them to real life examples. It's quickly become one of my non-fiction favorites.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Guilherme De Azevedo

    Great book. Check out a 4 minute video review and summary I made on Youtube. It will give you a good overview to decide if you want to further explore it, or it can also refresh your memory if you have already read it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KB9CzAA...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is a very well written interesting analysis of the origins of originality and how our society can foster it. I would recommend this book to basically anyone. The author uses fascinating anecdotes to get his points across and writes in a clear and concise manner. Great book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrea McDowell

    I enjoyed this book a lot. Not as much as Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, which was amazing and I think I pestered everyone I knew about it for a solid three months after I finished it, but it was still a solid and engaging read with good information written well. I think I have credibility when I say that I already have a good track record in speaking out on subjects I care about regardless of whether or not they are popular or will make me well-liked, so in some ways, I wasn I enjoyed this book a lot. Not as much as Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, which was amazing and I think I pestered everyone I knew about it for a solid three months after I finished it, but it was still a solid and engaging read with good information written well. I think I have credibility when I say that I already have a good track record in speaking out on subjects I care about regardless of whether or not they are popular or will make me well-liked, so in some ways, I wasn't the target audience for this book; a lot of the information struck me as fairly obvious. Yes, people who are strongly conflict avoidant will have a hard time standing up for the underdog and advancing social progress, because they're too concerned about not hurting Grandpa Fred's feelings when he gets on a racist tear at Thanksgiving dinner. I'm already not this person. Information on how to speak up and be heard was less satisfying, and largely--sadly--comprised of "say less." That's disappointing, right? He talks a lot about being a "tempered radical" and tailoring your message to the audience. Solid advice, I know, and it's not that it's not true. It's just that success has many faces and "getting the credit" or "being the poster child" are only two of them. Every movement needs a radical element; they push the centre, and expand what's considered to be mainstream or acceptable. Anyone saying anything about social causes today that is considered to be mainstream would have been thought of as totally, off the radar fringeballs two hundred years ago. Martin Luther King needed Malcolm X, and late 20th-century feminism needed Andrea Dworkin, regardless of whether you think the "radicals" were right or wrong. They pushed the discourse and created a space for the moderates to come in and stake out a position that was both palatable and meaningful in terms of moving majority opinion. I enjoyed the information on the role of humour in recent political revolutions. That was amazing. I'm not sure when I'll ever have a chance to apply this knowledge, but still. It was entertaining and information and gives me all the justification I need to continue being a pain in the ass. Thumbs up.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Femina Ernest

    Author Adam Grunt's diversified knowledge and analysis for this book is awesome. From "Creative Destruction" to "Rocking the Boat keep it steady" chapters, he is continuously trying to make us acknowledge "Yes, he is correct" kinda of nod. When talks about, One eyed Investors I felt it can be done better than that, but apart from that his concepts and studies are fabulous. Comparative facts like, chrome/Firefox, first born/later born, investors, Rethink/Group think etc are trying to showcase aut Author Adam Grunt's diversified knowledge and analysis for this book is awesome. From "Creative Destruction" to "Rocking the Boat keep it steady" chapters, he is continuously trying to make us acknowledge "Yes, he is correct" kinda of nod. When talks about, One eyed Investors I felt it can be done better than that, but apart from that his concepts and studies are fabulous. Comparative facts like, chrome/Firefox, first born/later born, investors, Rethink/Group think etc are trying to showcase author's well-determined research on it. I like his gut at few places when he confidently roar about management stuffs. This book meant " Good Book to me " for it's different approach on routine facts - Originals! Definitely, I can say " I am convinced to read your rest of the works like give and take etc". Good job Adam!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Snook

    I would give this book 4.5 stars if possible. It is a compelling book with many ideas to reflect on. There are some useful suggestions one could apply immediately at work or in their life and likely achieve some positive results. Other ideas are less supported or the suggestions for application, IMO, would likely miss the mark. Despite my opinion on some specifics the book is one of the best I have read for offering advise and busting myths about how originality, and thus innovation, may be ache I would give this book 4.5 stars if possible. It is a compelling book with many ideas to reflect on. There are some useful suggestions one could apply immediately at work or in their life and likely achieve some positive results. Other ideas are less supported or the suggestions for application, IMO, would likely miss the mark. Despite my opinion on some specifics the book is one of the best I have read for offering advise and busting myths about how originality, and thus innovation, may be acheived.

  26. 5 out of 5

    laura

    the cover is the best part of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brad Meltzer

    This is a nonfiction guide to making a meaningful difference, inspiring creativity and finding one’s own gifts. It’s how to be truly different by one of my favorite thinkers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ali Sattari

    It took me about 5% of the book to warm up, but it was a fascinating journey all the way to the end.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Supriya Limaye

    I generally steer clear of anything like self-help books, but after being exposed to some of the ideas in Originals via podcasts and articles, I decided to give it a go. The reason I dislike self-help books is two fold, 1) it’s typically decent advice that doesn’t merit a whole book and thus becomes self-parody partway through 2) they never acknowledge how much of success is related to factors outside of the reader’s control, because if the reader doesn’t believe this one easy trick will fix th I generally steer clear of anything like self-help books, but after being exposed to some of the ideas in Originals via podcasts and articles, I decided to give it a go. The reason I dislike self-help books is two fold, 1) it’s typically decent advice that doesn’t merit a whole book and thus becomes self-parody partway through 2) they never acknowledge how much of success is related to factors outside of the reader’s control, because if the reader doesn’t believe this one easy trick will fix their life, they won’t feel good and people won’t buy the book. So what I respect about Originals is that it acknowledges the limitations of making assertions without data, so even when points are supported anecdotally, they’re fairly presented. Secondly, Grant acknowledges the messiness and uncertainty around the issues about which he is writing. He clearly states that women and people of color are at a disadvantage when trying to make changes in a system when they see flaws, etc. Moreover, not one aspect of the bookfeels like obvious advice. Sometimes, human nature works in counterintuitive ways, which means working with people/organizations involves counterintuitive strategies. This was at the core of what I got out of the book about non-conformity: it was reassuring that my unusual ways of dealing with decision making, creativity, human relationships, etc, are often advantageous without my knowing it. I of course learned a lot of ways to improve as well, but as someone who always felt reaching her goals would involve changing a lot about herself, I found myself relieved by almost every chapter. A

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I was a bit hesitant to invest time in this book because of its self-help nature. However, it was one of the best books I have read in a while. Outstanding! This book looks at how some people become innovators while others are more traditional and cautious. Of course it is much more complex than boiling it down to that, and Adam Grant presents some really great research to help the reader, and himself, begin to understand where innovators come from. Along with these fascinating studies, some of I was a bit hesitant to invest time in this book because of its self-help nature. However, it was one of the best books I have read in a while. Outstanding! This book looks at how some people become innovators while others are more traditional and cautious. Of course it is much more complex than boiling it down to that, and Adam Grant presents some really great research to help the reader, and himself, begin to understand where innovators come from. Along with these fascinating studies, some of which are the author's own research, Grant provides the reader with extremely interesting, thought provoking, and entertaining histories of some of the worlds most original individuals. I might even read this book again at some point.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.