Originals, Adam Grant

Ci-dessous, retrouvez les citations et passages que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant d’Originals, le livre du psychologue et auteur Américain Adam Grant.

Penser différemment, voir les choses d’une perspective divergente, et trouver des idées qui peuvent changer le monde. Ceci est ce que vous retrouverez dans ce livre.

Bonne lecture !

  • “In the deepest sense of the world, a friend is someone who sees more potential in you than you see in yourself, someone who helps you become the best version of yourself.” Sheryl Sandberg
  • “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw
  • Originals are people who take the initiative to make their visions a reality.
  • The hallmark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.

The starting point is curiosity: pondering why the default exists in the first place. We’re driven to question defaults when we experience vuja de, the opposite of déjà vu. Déjà vu occurs when we encounter something new, but it feels as if we’ve seen it before. Vuja de is the reverse—we face something familiar, but we see it with a fresh perspective that enables us to gain new insight into old problems.

  • When we become curious about the dissatisfying defaults in our world, we begin to recognize that most of them have social origins: Rules and systems were created by people.  And that awareness gives us the courage to contemplate how we can change them. Before women gained the right to vote in America, many “had never before considered their degraded status as anything but natural,” historian Jean Baker observes. As the suffrage movement gained momentum, “a growing number of women were beginning to see that custom, religious precept, and law were in fact man-made and therefore reversible.”
  • In adulthood, many child prodigies become experts in their field and leaders in their organizations. Yet “only a fraction of gifted children eventually become revolutionary adult creators,” laments psychologist Ellen Winner. “Those who do, must make a painful transition” from a child who “learns rapidly and effortlessly in an established domain” to an adult who “ultimately remakes a domain.
  • Successful originals take extreme risks in one arena and offset them with extreme caution in another.
  • “Many entrepreneurs take plenty of risks—but those are generally the failed entrepreneurs, not the success stories.” Malcolm Gladwell
  • By refusing to stick with their default jobs and qualify themselves for roles that were a better fit. Many of their limits, they came to realize, were of their own making.
  • Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try.
  • “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams
  • In reality, the biggest barrier to originality is not idea generation—it’s idea selection. Our companies, communities, and countries don’t necessarily suffer from a shortage of novel ideas. They’re constrained by a shortage of people who excel at choosing the right novel ideas.
  • When we’ve developed an idea, we’re typically too close to our own tastes—and too far from the audience’s taste—to evaluate it accurately.
  • But even when they do learn about their audience’s preferences, it’s too easy for the to fall victim to what psychologists call confirmation bias: they focus on the strengths of their ideas while ignoring or discounting their limitations.
  • “The odds of producing an influential or successful idea are a positive function of the total number of ideas generated.” Dean Simonton
  • “Original thinkers 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.” Stanford professor Robert Sutton
  • Many people fail to achieve originality because they generate a few ideas and then obsess about refining them to perfection.
  • Our first ideas are often the most conventional—the closest to the default that already exists. It’s only after we’ve ruled out the obvious that we have the greatest freedom to consider the more remote possibilities. “Once you start getting desperate, you start thinking outside the box,” the Upworthy team writes.”#24 will suck. Then #25 will be a gift from the headline gods and will make you a legend.”
  • “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.” Einstein
  • “The way to come to power is not always to merely challenge the Establishment, but first make a place in it and then challenge and double-cross the Establishment.“ Francis Ford Coppola
  • As Medina gained respect for these efforts, she accumulated what psychologist Edwin Hollander called idiosyncrasy credits—the latitude to deviate from the group’s expectations. Idiosyncrasy credits accrue through respect, not rank: they’re based on contributions. We squash a low-status member who tries to challenge the status quo, but tolerate and sometimes even applaud the originality of a high status star.
  • Putting your worst foot forward: The Sarick Effect

In 2009, when Griscom pitched Babble to venture capitalists, he did the exact opposite of what every entrepreneur has been taught to do: He presented a slide listing the top five reasons not to invest in his business.

His counterintuitive approach worked: that year, Babble brought in $3.3 million in funding.

“Here’s why you should not buy babble.”

Disney ended up buying the company for *40 million.

The sarick effect, named after the social scientist Leslie Sarick. In both situations, Griscom was presenting ideas to people who had more power than he had, and trying to convince them to commit their resources. Most of us assume that to be persuasive, we ought to emphasize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. That kind of powerful communication makes sense if the audience is supportive. But when you’re pitching a novel idea or speaking up with a suggestion for change, your audience is likely to be skeptical. Investors are looking to poke holes in your arguments; managers are hunting for reasons why your suggestion won’t work. Under those circumstances, for at least four reasons, it’s actually more effective to adopt Griscom’s form of powerless communication by accentuating the flaws in your idea.

  • “Prophets of doom and gloom appear wise and insightful,” Amabile writes, “while positive statements are seen as having a naïve ‘Pollyanna’ quality”.
  • The advantage of being up front about the downsides of your ideas is that it makes you more trustworthy. Another advantage of this approach is that it leaves audiences with a more favorable assessment of the idea itself, due to a bias in how we process information. 

To illustrate this bias, I often ask executives to judge how happy they are after thinking about the positive features of their lives. One group is tasked with writing three good things about their lives; another group has to list twelve good things. Everyone expects the twelve groups to be happier: the more blessings you count, the better you should feel about your circumstances. But most of the time, the opposite is true. We’re happier after we list three good things than twelve.

  • Newton’s third law can be true in human dynamics as well: every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
  • It takes longer to write a short speech than a long one. “If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it,” said President Woodrow Wilson; “if I can talk as long as I want to, it requires no preparation at all.”
  • Procrastination may be the enemy of productivity, but it can be a resource for creativity.
  • “Genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea.” Da Vinci
  • In 1927, Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik demonstrated that people have a better memory for incomplete than complete tasks. Once a task is finished, we stop thinking about it. But when it is interrupted and left undone, it stays active in our minds.
  • Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.
  • “Moving first is a tactic, not a goal. Being a first mover doesn’t do you any good if someone else comes along and unseats you.” Peter Thiel
  • In the 1840s, when Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that having medical students wash their hands dramatically reduced death rates during childbirth, he was scorned by his colleagues and ended up in an asylum. It would be two decades before his ideas gained scientific legitimacy as Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch laid the foundations of germ theory. As physicist Max Planck once observed, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.”
  • “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Psychologist Abraham Maslow
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it… The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela

Si vous souhaitez l’acheter pour le lire en entier, cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous (il vous redirigera vers Amazon et me permettra de gagner un pourcentage de votre achat si vous passez par mon lien) : Originals, Adam Grant

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