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Originals [Summary & Takeaways]

by The Quick Book Summary Team
4 minutes read

Main Topic

Originals by Adam Grant explores the world of non-conformity and innovation, shedding light on how individuals who dare to be different can drive positive change in various fields.

Key Ideas or Arguments

  • Procrastination as a creative tool: Grant suggests that moderate procrastination can lead to more creative problem-solving.
  • The power of doubt: He emphasizes that effective leaders are often those who question the status quo and encourage dissent.
  • Balancing risks: The book discusses the importance of calculated risk-taking to innovate while minimizing potential losses.
  • Fostering a culture of innovation: Grant outlines strategies for organizations to encourage original thinking and creative contributions.
  • Nurturing originality in children: The book explores how parents and educators can support the development of non-conformist thinking in the next generation.

Chapter Titles or Main Sections

  1. Creative Destruction: Introduces the concept of original thinking and the importance of challenging conventional wisdom.
  2. Blind Inventors and One-Eyed Followers: Explores the traits and behaviors of successful non-conformists.
  3. The Mice Utopia: Discusses the impact of conformity and how organizations can stifle creativity.
  4. The Risky Business of Parenting: Focuses on raising children to embrace originality.
  5. Rethinking Groupthink: Examines the drawbacks of groupthink and how diverse perspectives can drive innovation.
  6. The Politics of Originality: Explores how non-conformists can navigate politics in organizations.
  7. Givers Take All: Discusses how a giving attitude can lead to success in the originality journey.
  8. Rebel with a Cause: Emphasizes the importance of having a mission when pursuing non-conformity.
  9. The Pioneers of Originality: Profiles notable original thinkers and their contributions.


by Adam Grant


Key Takeaways

  • Non-conformity and original thinking can lead to significant personal and societal improvements.
  • Doubt and calculated risk-taking are essential components of innovation.
  • Balancing the tension between creativity and practicality is crucial for originality.
  • Organizations can foster a culture of innovation through open communication and diversity.
  • Parenting and education play a role in nurturing non-conformist thinking in children.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

Adam Grant is a Wharton School professor, psychologist, and author. He has published several influential books on leadership, motivation, and workplace dynamics, making him a respected authority in the field.

Comparison to Other Books

Originals stands out due to its focus on the psychology of non-conformity and innovation, exploring the individual and organizational aspects of original thinking. It provides practical advice and case studies to support its ideas.

Target Audience

This book is intended for individuals looking to enhance their creativity, leaders seeking to foster innovation, parents and educators interested in nurturing non-conformist thinking in children, and anyone curious about the power of non-conformity.

Reception or Critical Response

Originals has received positive reviews for its insights into fostering originality and its engaging storytelling. Critics and readers alike have praised its relevance and practicality.

Publisher and First Published Date

  • Publisher: Viking
  • First Published: February 2, 2016

Recommendations (Other Similar Books on the Same Topic)

To Sum Up

The biggest takeaway from Originals is that embracing non-conformity and original thinking can lead to personal and societal progress, with doubt, calculated risk-taking, and a sense of mission being vital elements of this transformative journey.

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