Adam Grant’s INBOUND17 Spotlight

Adam Grant is recognized as one of the world’s top 25 most influential management thinkers and Forbes 40 under 40 in 2016. Having read his best-selling title, Originals, I’m a huge admirer of his work. As he took the stage at INBOUND17, people were not only excited, but they were also fully prepared to not miss out on the remarkable insights he has to offer.

And the man didn’t disappoint his audience as he started by busting the conventional notion of putting your best foot forward.

Adam Grant then presented a stat about stats, which the storytellers really liked, but the statisticians, not so much. Yeah, he was really meta!

He also talked about how making an idea more familiar leads to its acceptance, which is a key insight in his book Originals. He went ahead and talked about how a new idea needs both givers and skeptics (takers) to turn into a successful one.

He presented an interesting 2×2 table to further classify the givers and takers on the basis of their agreement to your idea. Then he explained each one of them, and the role they are supposed to play in the journey of your idea:

  • Agreeable Givers: These are the folks who’ll support your idea. But this is more often because they don’t want conflict—neither with you, nor with the people against you. So, they’ll never be your advocates. Also, they won’t be able to help you make your idea better.
  • Agreeable Takers: These are the folks who might seem supportive on the surface, but their prime concern is to benefit themselves and not to help you champion your idea. It’s hard to identify and avoid these folks but it’s a must.
  • Disagreeable Givers: These are the folks you need to surround yourself with. They will tear your idea apart in order to make it better. And once they believe in your idea, they will advocate it in front of any authority.
  • Disagreeable Takers: They won’t support your idea as it’s just not a focus for them. So, it’s better to identify these people early on and avoid them.

For some, it was an insightful session, like every Adam Grant talk. But there were also those who were able to tick an item off their bucket list.

So, that’s all from Adam Grant’s session. But do stay tuned for all our session recaps, insights, and sketches over the week, and check our coverage to find all things INBOUND17.

Our Knowiz team is also at INBOUND17 this year. Let’s grab some coffee together and discuss agency growth when you’ve got a minute.

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