Adam Grant is one of most popular TED’s speakers, the author of five best-selling books including Think Again, and the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers.
Simple Short Summary: In Think Again, author Adam reveals that you don’t have to believe everything you think instead you should cultivate curiosity, flexibility, humility so that you can gather knowledge to know what you don’t know.
In this book, Think Again you’ll learn three lesson:
Lesson: A – Adam Grant uncovers Four habits of original thinkers
Lesson: B – Adam grant the four modes of thinking
Lesson: C – Rethinking in three main areas personal interpersonal and collective for better decision making
Think Again Summary
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Lesson: A – Adam Grant uncovers five habits of original thinkers
Have you ever wonder how some people make a good decision while others not? Adam, for example, was wrong in investing in a startup called Warby Parker, but later it becomes the world’s most innovative company.
Adam calls originals to people who not only uncover good ideas but also take action to champion them. So, how do you recognize the originals? For this, Adam illustrates five techniques to identify them.
The first habit is laziness:
Originals are quick to start, but lazy to finish, Leonardo do Vinci, for example, takes 16 years to complete Mona Lisa, but this makes him a better painter. This evidence shows that procrastination is actually a virtue for creativity. Even Aaron Sorkin says, ‘You call it procrastinating. I call it thinking.’
People who procrastinate boost their creativity. Martin Luther King, for example, was sitting in the audience waiting for his turn to deliver the speech for the march on Washington but refining his note even in the last minutes.
With this, Martin allows himself to greet new ideas which help him to start his speech with the words ‘I have a dream’ that wasn’t even in his script.
To test that the people who procrastinate till the last minutes boost creativity, Adam former student Jihae Shin conducts an experiment; she assigns two teams a task to come up with new business ideas. The first team forces to start right away, however, the second team has liberation and can start even after playing Minesweeper for 5-10 minutes.
The outcome shows that the second team 28 percent more creative than the first.
It concludes that the creativity boosts only occur when you procrastinate even after knowing the project. Because, with this, even if you relax, but in the background, the brain starts working on the project.
The second habit is what web browser do you use:
Sound Weird? But research says that Firefox and Chrome user can outperform Internet Explorer and Safari users. Why?
With Internet Explorer and Safari browser, you consent to go with the default browsers setting that was preinstall on your computer. Even you’ve no liberty to modify or alter the options.
However, in case of Chrome and Firefox if you don’t like the default settings, you’ve the options to alter them. It means you’ve the liberty to take the initiative when you don’t prefer the default option.
The third habit is Consistently Failure:
Even originals doubt their ideas and feel fear but only behind the scene because on the surface they look confident. Originals may feel two distinct kinds of doubts: idea-doubt and self-doubt.
In self-doubt, you constantly feel like you’re not good enough which indicates lack of confidence and abilities. It also prevents you from executing and experimenting with new ideas.
Idea-doubt is diverse from self-doubt. With idea-doubt, you’ll have confidence in yourself, but only unsure about the success of the specific idea.
So, idea-doubt urges you to experiment with your hypothesis and refines your theory. The perfect example of idea-doubt is of Martin Luther King who was rewriting, editing, and refining his speech till 3 am for the march on Washington.
The fourth habit is Vuja de:
The fourth habit of an original thinker is vuja de. It means suddenly looking at something with fresh eyes even when you’ve already seen it many times before.
The fifth habit is Improver:
In this notion, Adam says that it’s a myth that you’ve to bring a fresh product into a market to succeed. Because in a study of 50 products, it finds out those who start early have 47 percent of failure rate while the people who reinvent the first product with their creativity have only 8 percent of failure rate.
Thus, to be original, you don’t need to start with fresh products; you can take the old product with a new approach and creativity.
Lesson: B – Adam grant the four modes of thinking
Adam shows four styles others use to approach problems. These’re preacher, prosecutor, politician, and scientist. The first three styles illustrate by a political scientist which is Phil Tetlock.
You use preacher mode when your values or beliefs are at stake. So, you promote your ideas as you think changing your mind is a sign of moral weakness.
In prosecutors mode, you assault on others’ opinions to win an argument, and you do this by proving them wrong.
The goal is to win the approval of people, in politician mode, and you do this by telling what they want to hear.
When you think in scientist mode, you view your opinion like hypotheses waiting for approval. Hypotheses help you to make quality decisions because you can weigh the pros and cons. It also allows you to add new information and seeks out evidence that contradicts your opinions.
To back up your opinions, you start hunting more information. While investigating, you’ll collect some data that might work in your favor and some will not. Jeff Bezos, for example, hires those who change their minds often as this’s a sign of intellectually humble which allows them to view others people’s opinions.
Read: The War of Art Summary
Lesson: C- Rethinking in three main areas personal interpersonal and collective for better decision making
Human has tendency to think that the first idea arises in its mind is the best one, but the ability to rethinking is far more important. But, what is rethinking?
Rethinking is a process of suspecting your opinion, curious to know what you don’t know and updating your opinion based on new and fresh evidence. Therefore, you should rethink especially in three domains.
1. To rethink effectively at personal level, you’ve to learn how to open your mind for fresh information and even contradictory information that oppose your opinion.
Because if you think you’re right, then there’s no learning. However, when you embrace you’re wrong, you allow yourself to find, learn, and evolve your believes and opinions.
2. In interpersonal rethinking, you challenge others to rethink their own opinions. For this, Adam argues to avoid using overwhelming rational argument even if you’re correct.
Instead an effective approach is to find common ground between you and your audience and ask question to cultivate curiosity. This method is more effective in compare to crushing your audience with logic and reasons.
3. Collective rethinking encourages psychological safety. It’s a process of creating a community of learners in your workspace which means encouraging team members to take risk without the fear of punishment or losing jobs.
With this, employees are more willing to report problems, and a team can able to change its mindset based upon the evidence generate from its mistake.
Favorite Quote From The Book:
Think Again Review
With this book, Think Again, you will be able to open your blind spots which will motivate you to rethink old believes and assumptions you carry about various things. Adam urges you to review your past commitments, challenge your present decision, and reanalyze your plan.
In these areas, rethinking can help you, and it’s a tool that updates your knowledge and opinion. Gathering knowledge, in your journey, can make you free from the shackles of past belief.
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