Smashing Paradigms – Adam Grant and Dan Pink

{latest in a developing series on Smashing Paradigms}


Recently I used the “four monkeys” story to explain what a Paradigm is, then the next day used an example of “we’ve always done it this way” to look at why 55 million people commute (mostly) each year to Canary Wharf by tube, whereas only (at most) a few hundred thousand use River Boats, a far more pleasant journey.

Yesterday I also wrote about “How do we know what we know ? – Triangulating“, and in that post, I wrote about my own style of “how I know what I know” :

This starts with an idea that flows to me from observation. I then will look to observe more in the same or closely (or even tangentially!) related field, then I may look for some research to back it up. 

For me, though, I admit that I largely don’t look for backup or do research. What I do instead is look for others who have had similar ideas and look for their research.

One example is Adam Grant, the top-rated professor at Wharton and author of Give and Take.

I recently wrote about Adam, who is definitely an ideas guy AND he then does quantifiable research on his ideas.

Me? I look for people like Adam out there, then go off in search of new ideas and triangulate them, then I iterate the idea by taking it out to interesting people and developing ideas further.

On occasion, a few paradigms may get smashed

So, today I’d like to honour and give thanks to two thinkers who back up what their ideas with research.

One is Adam Grant, who I wrote about here. In addition to “Give and Take”, he also worked with Sheryl Sandberg to create research around the thoughts on resilience and joy in their book Option B. I look forward to reading it, and I also plan to write on characteristics such as resilience, as I see them a key to Open Leadership, the underlying theme of my explorations and curiousity these days.

The other thinker is Dan Pink, author of Drive.

Dan’s concepts around what motivates us, what drives us, are shown beautifully in this animation of his talk at the RSA (and am excited to have joined the RSA in London and look forward to their 2018 season of speakers!). This is underpinned by research and truly smashes paradigms. Watch and see ! Quite stunning.

Thank you for smashing paradigms, Adam and Dan !

Also published on Medium.

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