Aspen Lecture: Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World

 

If you want to raise creative children, you have to put values before rules.

Adam Grant ​Psychologist
Session

Aspen Lecture: Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World

Setup

The world doesn’t lack for creative ideas — it lacks people to champion them. Once you have an idea, how do you communicate it? Adam Grant, Wharton’s top-rated professor and a New York Times bestselling author of Originals, will share insights on how to speak up without getting silenced, and how to find allies in unexpected places.

Take risks on novel ideas
Take risks on novel ideas
Make the unfamiliar familiar
Fight groupthink — carefully
Find allies in unlikely places
Put values before rules
1.

Take risks on novel ideas

Jump to idea
04:24

Whether in a corporate boardroom, government office, or non-profit workspace, coming up with innovative and impactful ideas often means taking risks. Risk-taking is scary, though, and it of course comes with inherent dangers. So how can we ideate both originally and responsibly? Professor and author Adam Grant thinks we should remove both ourselves and our managers from the gatekeeping process and let the wisdom of peers guide our decisions.

Stanford researcher Justin Berg wanted to know who can best judge the success of new ideas, so he went to the circus. His research showed that the group that was best at predicting the success of any one video of a circus performance wasn’t the performers in the video or the circus directors — it was a group of peers. Performers familiar with, but distant from, the performances were the best at identifying which ideas would tickle their audiences the most.
2.

Make the unfamiliar familiar

Jump to idea
10:44

“The Lion King” was a groundbreaking piece of cinematography that was as much a box office success as an artistic success. Adam Grant thinks of the film a different way, however. Watch as Grant explains how the movie masterfully retells an old storyline for a new audience who can appreciate it in a different way:

3.

Fight groupthink — carefully

Jump to idea
19:46

Groupthink not only quashes good ideas, but it also stops people from speaking up when they see problems.

4.

Find allies in unlikely places

Jump to idea
27:03

We all need help to see our ideas through, but who should we rely on to take our ideas and turn them into action? Adam Grant thinks we need to be discerning about who we choose as allies, and it’s not always who we first think of:

27960807695 00c91444a3 O
Find allies in unlikely places

5.

Put values before rules

Jump to idea
41:48

Some parents think of rules as the most powerful tool they can wield, but are they actually good for children? Adam Grant doesn’t think so. Grant thinks rules are only valuable when children understand the principles behind them.

“The whole point of tying rules to values is, then instead of following rules and conforming to authority, kids actually develop principles for themselves. And they think for themselves. And they’re much more likely, when they’re confronted with something they disagree with or don’t believe in, to challenge it.”
Adam Grant

Grant also draws on Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindsets to argue that we should think of praising children in the same way.  If children do something well, don’t praise the behavior and instead praise the person or principle behind the behavior. That internalizes the notion that values, not behavior, are what shape their identities.

Learn More

Additional Information

Explore More

Society

493 ideas
Sorry, we couldn't find any results
Clear filters
Aspen Lecture: Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World

Thank you for signing up!

Please provide a valid email address.

Please provide a valid email address.
Newsletter
Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter
for the latest festival updates.