People Don’t Actually Know Themselves Very Well

Chances are, your coworkers are better at rating some parts of your personality than you are.

Adam Grant’s Simple Matrix to Get Employees (or Kids) More Engaged and Creative

When it comes to praise, leaders of any type (be they managers, parents, or coaches) hold unique power. The actions they exalt become standards of success, while those they critique become standards of failure.
Too often, leaders praise the wrong things and leave good work unremarked upon. The effect is that the people over whom they hold influence (be they employees, children, or mentees) are more … [ Read more ]

Networking is Overrated

It’s true that networking can help you accomplish great things. But this obscures the opposite truth: Accomplishing great things helps you develop a network. If you make great connections, they might advance your career. If you do great work, those connections will be easier to make. Let your insights and your outputs — not your business cards — do the talking.

The Power of Pride at Facebook

Facebook’s HR department worked with Wharton professor Adam Grant to investigate what keeps employees at the company engaged and motivated. Below, they walk us through the results of their internal study.

Adam Grant

Charlan Nemeth at Berkeley […] finds is that people aren’t actually persuaded by devil’s advocates most of the time. One, they don’t argue forcefully enough because they don’t really believe the position: it’s “All right, I’m going to play a role here. I’ve checked the box, and now I can go right back to the majority view.”

And then, second, even if they do argue with … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

There’s an amazing study by Justin Berg, a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor. He looks at circus performances—think Cirque du Soleil—and collects all these original acts done by different kinds of circus artists: jugglers, dancers, acrobats. He asks people to evaluate their own performances, and then he asks managers to evaluate them as well, and then he has performers judge each other’s videos.

Finally, he … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

References can be a rich source of information to use to identify originals, but one of my big frustrations with references is that they’re always glowing. Nobody ever gets a negative review. You have to put references in a position where they have no choice but to be candid with you. The easiest way to do that is to give them forced choices of two … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

Nancy Lublin […] prompts her people to act originally by banning words such as like, love and hate, because, as a basic visceral response, they circumvent any critical thought. Saying why something is loved or hated inspires new, substantial ideas.

Adam Grant

A resilient culture has a certain amount of resistance embedded in it. Not too much to capsize it, but enough so that it doesn’t atrophy. What happens when startups get successful and grow is that they become more and more vulnerable to the attraction-selection-attrition cycle, where people of the same stripes are increasingly drawn to the organization, chosen by it and retained at it. The … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

A lot of people attribute groupthink to cohesion. They think that if we’re too close, if we trust each other too much […] then we’re not going to challenge each other. That turns out to be false. Cohesive groups often make the best decisions. People frequently when they trust each other are willing to challenge each other and say, “I know this person is not … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

We have a much better memory for incomplete than complete tasks. The moment I hit send on that draft, it’s out of my mind, whereas when I leave it open, then I’m constantly processing it. I’m seeing new possibilities.

Adam Grant

If you want to be an original – the kind of nonconformist who champions new ideas and really drives creativity and change in the world – I thought you had to be an early bird, a first mover. But again, the evidence proved me wrong. Turns out that most originals are great procrastinators. The reason for this is pretty simple. […] What I noticed as … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

One of the myths that people carry around is if you want to be original, you will think, “I should do less because I want to perfect my invention or my creation.” But again, the data actually support the opposite story. Dean Simonton is a psychologist who has been studying this his whole career. What he finds is, one of the best predictors of how … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

Most entrepreneurs hate gambling. What they really enjoy is the opportunity to try something new. They’re typically driven not by this craving for risk, but rather, this desire to say, “Can I pursue a passion? Can I work independently? Can I do something where I’m really going to have an impact?”

What mystifies a lot of us is we look at entrepreneurs, and we see them … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant On Interviewing to Hire Trailblazers, Nonconformists and Originals

Bestselling author and Wharton professor Adam Grant has spent years researching and interviewing originals. In this interview, Grant explains why it’s imperative for early-stage companies to hire originals. He shares how he singles them out and delves into recommended questions and exercises that can help startups find and hire them.

‘Originals’: How Anyone Can Become a Trailblazer

A new book by Wharton management professor Adam Grant challenges our assumptions about what it takes to generate and champion original ideas in ourselves and others. In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Grant reveals what we can learn from entrepreneurs and other trailblazers to help us think differently and to make our voices heard.

Adam Grant

A lot of organizations do behavioral interviews, where they’re backward looking and asking about your history, what you’ve accomplished, what challenges you’ve overcome. And those don’t turn out to be very effective if you look at the evidence, because they suffer from an apples-and-oranges problem: it’s very hard to compare two people’s work histories.

Instead, what you want to do is ask, “What would you do … [ Read more ]

Can People Analytics Help Firms Manage People Better?

How an organization makes its people-related decisions has a huge impact on its success or failure. But traditionally, these decisions have largely been based on intuition and biases and therefore have been prone to error. But now, companies are starting to use data and sophisticated analysis in issues such as recruiting, compensation and performance evaluation because they believe it can help in better decision making. … [ Read more ]

Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee

This is the sad reality in workplaces around the world: Women help more but benefit less from it. In keeping with deeply held gender stereotypes, we expect men to be ambitious and results-oriented, and women to be nurturing and communal. When a man offers to help, we shower him with praise and rewards. But when a woman helps, we feel less indebted. She’s communal, right? … [ Read more ]

Wharton’s Adam Grant on the Key to Professional Success

The author of Give and Take explains why generosity in the workplace continues to be more effective than selfishness and why it is critical for personal fulfillment.