Creativity often seems to comes naturally to some, and not as easily to others. Adam Grant, a top-rated professor at Wharton with a doctorate in organizational psychology, is a writer for the New York Times and the author of two bestsellers. Grant’s second bestselling novel “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” shows that we are all capable of being more creative, and details the steps you can take to make your creative ideas succeed.
Here are three lessons from Grant to inspire you.
Some studies that Grant cites show that we might actually generate more creative ideas when we procrastinate. Next time you’re facing a tough problem, it might be better to take a step back instead of pushing yourself to find an immediate solution.
Grant illustrates that thoughtful procrastination can be a successful method to generating better, more original solutions. He even shows how our opinions of procrastination may be misguided, explaining that “In ancient Egypt, there were two different verbs for procrastination: one denoted laziness; the other meant waiting for the right time.”
Try this out during your next brainstorm. Alert everyone prior to attending about the problem or task facing you, so they can keep it in the back of their minds. See if it brings about better results at your next meeting.
We don’t always want to speak up when we disagree or listen to others when they disagree, but dissent is important to generating more creativity.
If you want to challenge yourself to create better ideas, don’t run them by your friends or those that typically support you. Instead, find someone who you don’t agree with. You will need to work harder for their approval, but once you get it, they can become powerful in persuading others to support you.
We generally hear more stories about college drop-outs making it big than we do of those who finish their degree while launching a business. “Originals” illustrates how avoiding risk can be positive. Grant writes, “Having a sense of security in one realm gives us the freedom to be original in another. By covering our bases financially, we escape the pressure to publish half-baked books, sell shoddy art, or launch untested businesses.”
If there’s a project that you’re working on when you aren’t at your day job, don’t feel obligated to choose one or the other. Having stability in other areas of your life can allow you the opportunity to think big.
No matter what industry you work in or what position you hold, I recommend that you read “Originals.”