The Coach's Corner

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

October 26th, 2020 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I recently read Adam Grant’s book titled Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. It helped me piece together situations I’ve been involved with over the course of my entire business life. As many of you know, I like to start new businesses and initiatives. Grant’s book helped me understand the many challenges I’ve faced over the years.It’s also helped me better understand why I have made certain life choices and chosen this path. (Editorial comment: I’ve also been drawn to the song “Different,” by Micah Tyler — because, at times, that’s how I feel.)

Grant concludes his book with these Actions for Impact:

  1. Question the default. Instead of taking the status quo for granted, ask why it exists in the first place.
  2. Triple the number of ideas you generate. 
  3. Immerse yourself in a new domain. Originality increases when you broaden your frame of reference (e.g., spending time in a foreign country with locals).
  4. Procrastinate strategically. (Editorial comment: Grant suggests there are times when procrastination — or waiting — is the right approach.)
  5. Seek more feedback from peers.
  6. Balance your risk portfolio. (Editorial comment: Hedge your bet.)
  7. Highlight the reasons not to support your idea. (Editorial comment: This is counterintuitive but it’s a great idea, due to confirmation bias.)
  8. Make your ideas more familiar. Repeat yourself. It makes people more comfortable with an unconventional idea.
  9. Speak to a different audience. Instead of seeking out friendly people who share your values, try approaching disagreeable people who share your methods.
  10. Be a tempered radical. If your idea is extreme, couch it as part of a more conventional goal.
  11. Motivate yourself differently when you’re committed vs. uncertain. When you’re determined to act, focus on the progress left to go — you’ll be energized to close the gap.
  12. Don’t try to calm down.
  13. Focus on the victim, not the perpetrator. In the face of injustice, thinking about the perpetrator fuels anger and aggression.
  14. Realize you’re not alone.
  15. Remember that if you don’t take the initiative, the status quo will persist.

Conclusions:

If you’re an innovator, I would highly recommend you read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. It will be encouraging and will help you understand why change is so hard. You’ll also get some great ideas about how to be more successful, and you’ll realize you’re not crazy.

If you’re a business owner who wants your team to be more creative, it will make you aware of potential obstacles that may inadvertently discourage people from suggesting or making change. You can’t have it both ways.

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Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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