Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant
|Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant|
|Category: Popular Science|
|Reviewer: Stacey Barkley|
|Summary: Humour, insight and motivation all in one book, what's not to like? Adam Grant seeks to uncover how non-conformists can change the world, and in doing so reveals that we all can become the very non-conformists he writes of.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: February 2016|
|Publisher: WH Allen|
|External links: Author's website|
Did you know that procrastination could actually aid creativity? No? Neither did I, but it's a piece of information that I shall embrace and wield in my defence from here on out, because Adam Grant says it is so. Filled with interesting snippets and fascinating cases, Originals is not just entertaining, but instructive as well.
The premise, ultimately, is that contrary to popular belief, we all have the potential to be original and to create, in any domain, new and different ways of doing. While this might sound idealistic on the cover - and I too was sceptical - the evidence Grant presents is rather convincing.
Rather usefully the chapters are split by focus, beginning conveniently with strategies to recognise and generate original ideas, moving on to how best and when to voice these. By employing tales of everyday people, a bunch of students, for instance, and pulling apart their journey to success, Grant unearths a few secret ingredients. He highlights that fear and self-doubt, far from hindering progress, are actually very natural and indeed useful, even among some of the most successful individuals. Advocating strategies such as exploring a new domain or culture in order to broaden our thinking, and to bring new perspective to how we view the familiar might sound obvious, but how often do we actually do this? Grant writes with such energy that the impetus to act is there within his words, and this is what sets this book apart; it supplies motivation by the page.
Perhaps one of the most interesting discussions involves how we can foster creative thinking in others. Whether you are a manager, a parent, or a sibling, there is something in here for everyone. Small actions, such as using nouns over verbs can have a massive impact on how we behave. Praising a child for sharing is actually less effective than praising them for being a sharer, which reaches to their very identity, rather than a shallow acknowledgement of an action alone.
Small actions big impact is the message of this book. Small acts can build entire workplace cultures of diverse and divergent thinking, they can open new fields of reference to young children encouraging and fostering originality from the get-go, and they can pave the way for our own personal paths to creative thinking, originality, and hopefully, to success. Even if the latter is not the end result, Grant leads one to believe that employing these actions can lead to greater fulfilment and more enjoyment of the situations we find ourselves in. That, if nothing else, is reason enough to try these strategies out.
Normally, I steer clear of books that profess their power to help me change my ways, so I was surprised to find myself drawn to this one. Perhaps it was Malcolm Gladwell's well-placed stamp of approval, or some deep-seated desire for originality, but read it I did, and cover to cover at that; I was not disappointed. This avoids the preachy tone similar books fall prey to. Instead it is infused with humour and enthusiasm throughout. Well worth a read if a gentle nudge toward motivation is what you're after.
For further exploration of what drives us, consider Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It by Dr David Lewis
You can read more book reviews or buy Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.