Adam Grant (Think Again) - Natalie Nixon (The Creativity Leap)

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: there’s evidence that being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.

As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds–and our own. As Wharton’s top-rated professor and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, one of his guiding principles is to argue like he’s right but listen like he’s wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, harness the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, how a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, how a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children, and how Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox. Think Again reveals that we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.

Too many people associate creativity solely with the arts, even though to be an incredible scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur requires immense creativity. And it’s the key to developing breakthrough products and services. Natalie Nixon, a creativity strategist with a background in cultural anthropology, fashion, and service design, says that in the fourth industrial revolution a creativity leap is needed to bridge the gap that exists between the churn of work and the highly sought-after prize called innovation.

Nixon says that since humans are hardwired to be creative, it is a competency anyone can develop. She shows that it balances wonder (awe, audacity, and curiosity) with rigor (discipline, skill-building, and attention to detail), and that inquiry, improvisation, and intuition are the key practices that increase those capacities. Drawing on interviews with fifty-six people from diverse backgrounds–farming, law, plumbing, architecture, perfumery, medicine, education, technology, and more–she offers illuminating examples of how creativity manifests in every kind of work.

Combining creativity tools and techniques with real-world stories of innovative people and businesses, this book is a provocation, an inspiration, and an invitation to unleash the innate creativity that lies within each of us. It offers a more dynamic and integrative way to adapt and innovate, one that allows us the freedom to access our full human selves.

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