Aspen Lecture: Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World
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.
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.
“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:
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:
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.
Big IdeaThe 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.