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Originals Adam Grant
Economie & Bedrijf Viking
2016 336

How Non-Conformists Move the World

Adam Grant (1981) is a compelling writer. He has a vast background in psychology, behavior and motivation, especially given his age. In this book Adam explores how originals, or non-conformists, challenge conformity and champion new ideas that go against the stream. In a way, I’d say, it’s a book on how to become a thought leader.
By reading the stories that are not only educational but also highly entertaining, it becomes very clear what makes an Original: recognize a good idea, speak up, build a coalition, choose the right time, manage fear and doubt. Examples from very different angles – politics to sports, historic to current – amplify the understanding of the necessary ingredients. How about the story of an entrepreneur who pitches his start- ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest? And what can we learn from a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below?

An Original is different from the rest, but can never succeed alone. Every Original needs a team and therefore Adam dedicates part of the book to show how to deal with team dynamics and to get the most original ideas out of yourself and your team. His main message? Be aware of peer-pressure. Originals face risk, skip hierarchy, are brutal honest and balance between a strong culture and cult.
Producing original ideas is a though job and certainly some of your ideas will fail. To be honest: the majority of your ideas will not be successful. So an Original needs to come up with far more original ideas then he or she will ever become known for, argues Adam. You can’t win all battles.

My take-away is that an Original is not made overnight. You need patience, humbleness and deliberation to become one. To challenge the status quo, you do not only need the ideas, but also the leadership/political skills. This is by far not the easiest way to happiness, but it is probably the most fulfilling.


Dit boek werd ons aangereikt door het blog Wait But Why. Dat is eigelijk al een soort van reden genoeg. Maar het boek gaat daarnaast diep in op hoe iemand een “Original” wordt. Dat sluit perfect aan bij thought leadership, guru zijn of autoriteit uitstralen. Iets waar veel merken (of personen bij deze merken) mee bezig zijn.

Bovenstaand verslag is in het Engels omdat het al eerder is gepubliceerd op: Dutch School of Thought.

Samenvatting op

Adam Grant is hoogleraar psychologie aan Wharton en een gelauwerd onderzoeker en docent. Hij promoveerde summa cum laude aan Harvard, waar hij werd onderscheiden met het John Harvard Scholarship voor zijn onderzoek. Hij is uitgeroepen tot een van de veertig beste psychologen onder de veertig ter wereld.

Wat andere zeggen over Originals

“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, chief operating officer of Facebook and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lean In
“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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

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