ORIGINALS - ADAM GRANT
SUMMARY AND MY NOTES
1. CREATIVE DESTRUCTION
- Employees who used Firefox or Chrome remained in their jobs 15% longer than those who used Explorer or Safari, were 19% less likely to miss work, had higher sales, were happier. They took initiate to seek out an option that may be better. in their jobs, they fixed situations they didn't like in novel ways.They created the jobs they wanted.
- Disadvantaged groups more readily accept the status quo: income inequality for example.
- Regardless of political ideologies, when a candidate seemed destined to win, people liked him more. If his odds dropped, they started liking him less.
- It is an emotional painkiller: you don't need to be dissatisfied with something that has to be that way.
- Most child protégés learn rapidly and effortlessly in an established domain rather than becoming an adult who remakes a domain. They are hindered by achievement motivation, which clouds set out originally: it makes you dread failure and strive for guaranteed success.
- Entrepreneurs who kept their jobs had 33% lower odds of failure than those who quit.
- When we embrace danger in one domain, we offset our overall level of risk by exercising caution in another domain: if you will aggressively bet in blackjack, you might drive below the usual speed en route to the casino.
- Although successful entrepreneurs have 3 times higher a chance compared to their peers to break the rules, they are breaking rules with calculated risks, and are not more likely than their peers to engage in hazardous activities.
- People who had little concern for pleasing others weren't more likely to become successful entrepreneurs.
- Lincoln, considered the best American President, and the one who made the most changes, scored the highest on wanting to please others and avoid conflict. He agonised for 6 months on whether he should free slaves.
- Vuya de: looking at something familiar in an unfamiliar way.
2. BLIND INVESTMENTS AND ONE-EYED INVESTORS
- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Artis knowing which ones to keep.
- You cannot be an objective judge of your own work or your own ideas. Creative geniuses on average, weren't qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, giving them greater variation and a "higher chance of originality.
- The more musical pieces a composer produced in a given five year window, the greater the spike in the odds of a hit.
- Picasso made 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, 12,000 drawings.
- Mozart made 600 works, Beethoven 650, Einstein wrote over 248 publications.
- The most prolific people do not only have the highest originality, they also generate the most original output during the periods in which they produce the largest volume.
- When it comes to idea generation, quantity is the most predictable path to quality.
- Our first ideas are often the most conventional - the closest to what already exists.
- Peer evaluations are the closest to reality of success.
- When people were asked to be creators before evaluation, they did significantly better. When you have a managerial role, you use an evaluative mindset of the negative aspects which leads to false negatives.
- Odds for a science Nobel Prize winner relative to typical scientist to engage in: music are twice as high, in arts are seven times as high, in crafts are seven and a half times as high, in writing are twelve times as high, and in performing are twenty two times as high.
- Openness is the personality trait most associated with an interest in the arts: the tendency to seek out novelty in a variety of intellectual, aesthetic and emotional pursuits.
- People become more creative when reminded of a time spent living in foreign culture, and bilinguals tend to become more creative than people who speak only one language.
- Our intuitions are only accurate in domains where we have a lot of experience. If you own many designer handbags, the less time you have to judge if some bag is a real designer bag or not, the more accurate you are. If you aren't an expert, your intuition isn't going to help you: you will make sounder judgements through analysis.
- To improve idea selection skills don't look at whether people have been successful, but how they've been successful.
- It is important to have passion through and for execution rather than just the idea.
3. OUT ON A LIMB
- The more frequently employees voiced ideas and concerns upward, the less likely they were to receive raises and promotions over a two year period.
- Power is exercising control and authority over others. Status is being respected and admired. People are punished for executing power when they don't have the status.
- Trying to influence others without their respect fuels a vicious cycle of resentment.
- When people were put into pairs and randomly assigned to be a leader and an obeyer for tasks, the leaders that were told that they weren't respected by the other person, even though picked at random, were nearly twice as likely to use their power in degrading ways.
- "The way to come to power is not always to challenge the establishment, but first to make a place in it and then challenge and double-cross the establishment."
- Medina, who but the CIA online, worked in the protection of information for a long time to show that she stood for something, not just against the status quo. She accumulated Idiosyncrasy credits - the latitude to deviate from the groups expectations. Acquired through respect, not rank, based on contributions.
- People reacted to professors as having 14% more status and competence when they dressed in T-shirts as oppose to a suit and tie, because they signalled that they'd earned the idiosyncrasy credits to not follow the norm.
- When you are pitching an idea to a sceptical audience, they are likely to poke holes in your arguments, hunt for problems, so it is more effective to adopt a form of powerless communication and accentuate the flaws in your idea yourself.
1) Leading with weaknesses disarms the audience. Confidence is a red flag: signalling that we need to defend ourselves. The listeners relax, it seems sincere, they are no longer being sold, they will try to solve the problem with you.
2) It alters how the audience evaluates the pitcher: It makes you seem smart if you say negative stuff because people think that professionals can critique. Most critics even feel obliged to find downfalls to show that they are not "chumps".
3) It makes you more trustworthy. If you have an experienced audience, they will find the downfalls themselves eventually so do the work for them. It establishes trust. It also makes you more credible when you talk about the strength. If you are willing to say what's wrong, there must be an awful lot that's right with it.
4) It leaves the audience with a more favourable assessment of the idea itself, due to a bias in information processing:
- When asked to come up with 3 good things about your life you are considerably happier when asked to come up with 12. You need to really rack your brains for 12 and you start questioning if your life is actually good. When asked to list 3 or 5 bad things about Tony Blair (someone generally disliked), those who listed 5 ended up liking him more, because it is harder to come up with 5, and your brain ends up convincing you that the person must not be that bad after all.
- In the same way, declaring the problems with something makes it harder for the listener to come up with extra problems by himself, deciding that the problems can't actually be that severe.
- When you tap out a melody, you hear the song in your head so can recognise it, but others only guess it 2.5% of the time.
- We badly communicate our ideas because we are so familiar with them that we underestimate how much exposure an audience needs to comprehend and buy into the idea.
- The more you encounter something, the more you like it: we prefer flipped photos of ourselves but regular photos of our friends.
- Agreeable people want to please others and preserve harmony, they don't want to make changes or disturb interpersonal relationships.
- Disagreeable people are more comfortable taking a stand against others and against convention. They will not just nod to your ideas but they will actually consider them and criticise them.
- The middle-status conformity effect: if you're at the top, you're expected to be different and have the licence to deviate. If you're at the bottom you have nothing to lose anyway. The middle has a bit of respect and doesn't want to jeopardise it. They pay follow-the-leader.
- Sexual harassment in the workplace most often isn't targeted towards those who meet the most standards of feminine beauty, but rather is a way to punish gender-role deviants: assertive, dominant, independent women.
- When women speak up on behalf of others, they avoid backlash because they're communal.
- For minority-group members, it is particularly important to earn status before exercising power.
- If you're somebody who can make things happen, do your job, deliver, do it well, you build respect: you have idiosyncrasy credits to cash in.
- We regret what we didn't do more than what we did.
4. FOOLS RUSH IN
- Martin Luther King wrote his speech after 10pm the night before he gave it.
- Procrastination may be conductive to originality: when you put off a task you buy yourself time to engage in divergent thinking rather than foreclosing "seizing and freezing" on one particular strategy.
- When you are passionate/motivated to solve a problem, putting off the task leads to more creative solutions.
- People have a better memory for incomplete tasks rather than complete tasks. Once its done, we stop thinking about it. When interrupted, it stays in our minds.
- The midpoint of the task is the best time for the leader to institute change: there is still plenty of time to try new things so they are highly receptive, and since half of the time has already gone, they are highly motivated.
- Pioneers are about six times more likely to fail in any economic field.
- The later people can learn from the mistakes of the pioneers and adjust for the shifting consumer tastes. Pioneers struggle to establish legitimacy, develop routines that didn't fit the markets, and become obsolete as consumer needs clarify.
- Conceptual innovation: done young, fast. But it can make the person rigid in his discovery and stop him making future original works, such as Einstein for example. - Experimental innovation: does experiments and gathers information on a problem throughout a lifetime to find an original discover later in life: Nobel prize winners.
5. GOLDILOCKS AND THE TROJAN HORSE
- The Goldilocks theory of coalition formation: Originals who start a movement are its most radical members. To form alliances with opposing groups, its best to temper the cause, cooling it as much as possible. To draw allies with the cause itself, you need a moderately tempered message: not too hot and not too cold.
- Horizontal Hostility: groups that share a fundamental objective create huge hostility between them due to minor differences: a coloured representative not been dark skinned enough, vegans towards vegetarians, members of a party hating those who support a similar party more than an opposing one. The general idea, if you were a true believer: you'd be all in. - Both positive and negative feelings are amplified when shared with others. you get more pleasure out of eating chlorate at the same time with someone, and more disgust at the bitterness of very dark chocolate when eaten with someone who feels the same.
- It is not he shared values alone that determine if two groups can work together or if one should become a member of a certain group. The strategic tactics should not be overlooked, and they are the reasons for unexpected alliance. This helps up to a point, if they have more than a 61% overlap in tactics, then helping each other is redundant. It is also better for them to have a difference in status: the lower status can gain a broader audience and credibility, and the upper status-one can refresh and stay relevant. - Ambivalent relationships: sometimes good sometimes bad are worse than just negative relationships. Unlike them, you never know what to expect, so you are more stressed, depressed and dissatisfied. You shouldn't cut your enemies and salvage your ambivalent relationships, do the opposite. - People who hate us and are converted we like a lot more than those who liked us all along. They will also be especially motivated to like us more, to avoid the cognitive dissonance of changing their minds yet again.
- They also are better at converting others, because they don't seem like Polianas, and they can better understand the other side. - If you start from an unconventional source for inspiration rather than a familiar source, you end up with a better, original idea.
6. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
- Later born children are more likely to rebel: be risk-takers and participate in extreme sports, adopt revolutionary scientific ideas first.
- More rebellious people thing "what would/should a person like be do in such a situation?" they base the decision on who they are or want to be rather than what they were told. - Firstborns tend to be more dominant, conscientious, ambitious. Laterborns tend to be more open to taking risks and embracing original ideas.
- Younger siblings often cannot compete in fields their older ones are seen as successful in, depending on their age difference, so they are more rebellious.
- Younger siblings are also raised learning from the less strict behaviours of their older brothers and sisters rather than the calculated actions of their parents.
- The larger the family, the more laterborns face lax rules.
- From 2 to 10 years of age, children are urged from their parent to change their behaviour once every 6-9 hours.
- Discipline with explanations is better internalised, less rebelled against, creates more original individuals who don't engage in criminal deviance but also who challenge the orthodoxies of their professions.
- More original and successful people are raised with less rules, and more moral values that they are allowed to choose themselves.
- It is better to receive a character praise than an action praise. "I like that you are the kind of person that ...." It leads to the development of a more unified self-concept as a moral person.
- Please don't be a cheater is better than please don't cheat.
- Having a role model elevates one's aspirations.
7. RETHINKING GROUPTHINK
- Groupthink is striving for unanimity and it overrides motivation to realistically consider the alternative causes of action.
8. BREAKING THE BOAT AND KEEPING IT STEADY
- "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave an is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers it." Nelson Mandela.
- Defensive pessimist: expect the worst, feel anxious and imagine all the things that can go wrong. When they are told to imagine the worst before a test, they perform better than when they are told to imagine the best or when they're told that they will succeed. They deliberately imagine a disaster scenario to intensify their anxiety and convert it into motivation. They are driven to avoid that danger, which enables them to feel a sense of control.
- People do better before tasks if they tell themselves to be "excited" about them rather than "calm". Trying to relax in an anxious state is like trying to hit the breaks when you're going at 80miles per hour. Thinking of excitement allows to motivate ourselves in the face of fear by pressing the go switch.
- When you are not yet committed to a task, thinking like a defensive pessimist may cause anxiety that slams our brakes. By looking at the positive sides in the beginning we'll activate enthusiasm and the go-system.
- Neuroscience suggest that when we are anxious, the unknown is more terrifying than the negative.
- "The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader" - Derek Sivers