Through a generous offer from getAbstract during the pandemic, I found that Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World is a creativity book by Adam Grant. It was inspired by his missed opportunity to invest in eyeglass maker, Warby Parker. Warby Parker had the original idea of selling eyeglasses over the internet. As a now highly successful company, Grant missed an early opportunity to cash in on the Warby Parker founder's originality.
Originals offers some valuable lessons for employees struggling to get their creative ideas adopted by their organizations:
Employees pitching original ideas must be prepared for skepticism and be ready to address it. After all, the reason an idea is original is that others might have thought of it but considered it too unworkable to act on it.
- Employees with original ideas must be prepared to make their ideas come alive. It's not enough to simply submit an idea to the employee suggestion box.
Given that others will be skeptical, employees should describe the weaknesses with their original ideas themselves. An honest explanation of what could be wrong with an idea garners respect from others and begins the path to addressing those weaknesses.
Other employees may be sympathetic to original ideas, but shared values are not sufficient. To make an original idea successful in an organization requires agreement on strategy and tactics as well.
The book ends with a workbook section to help creative people cultivate original ideas and get them adopted in their own organizations.
At Autodesk, our mission is to empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible. In that sense, it's no surprise that our customers and our technology are originals.
Originality is alive in the lab.