Who Drives Creativity and Change in the World?

January 18, 2018

In his TED Talk, organizational psychologist Adam Grant looks at the surprising habits of original thinkers.  Watch this video- it’s so interesting!  Here’s what I got out of it:

These “originals” are the innovators.  “Originals drive creativity and change in the world.  They’re the people you want to bet on.”  He goes on to speak about the three things he has come to recognize in “originals,” so that we too can learn to see them for what they are, and perhaps, learn from them.

  1.  The most creative people tend to be procrastinators.  He believes that procrastination gives original thinkers the time to think in non-linear ways, to consider divergent ideas and make unexpected leaps.  It’s about having the task active in the back of your mind, starting to “incubate.”  This is just one of the ‘surprising habits of original thinkers’ that Grant explores.  I found that fascinating.  It made so much sense.  Most of us who procrastinate are not waiting to start the activity, just to finish it.  Our minds are working on it while we do other things.  We are constantly erasing, adjusting, improving… so let’s not make STOP PROCRASTINATING one of our New Year’s Resolutions!  (I’m guessing this logic doesn’t apply to the non-creative tasks on that To-Do list, sorry!)
  2. The next trait he describes is that original do have doubts.  They are not always confident the way they are perceived to be.  They do doubt ideas, but are less inclined to doubt themselves.  That separation is big.  It’s ok to doubt an idea, and rethink it, and rethink it until you find the best idea.
  3. Originals feel fear too.  They are afraid of failing, but they are more afraid of not trying.  We all have lots of ideas.  Some are good and some are not.  Originals are not afraid of putting their ideas out there- of trying.  The more you put out there, the better your chances of creating a masterpiece.

So, they are not that different from us.  They feel what we feel, but they do it anyway.  “It’s not easy, but it’s the best way to improve the world around us.”

Thank you Adam Grant for this interesting perspective.

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