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NOVEL SOLUTIONS


Color Outside The Lines


NICHOLAS LEIDER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR


strikes quickly. T e light bulb goes on above your head and the great idea seems so simple. In “Originals,” Adam Grant argues, while such lightning strikes may happen, they aren’t as common as people think. His take on “how non-conformists move the world,” as the book’s subtitle reads, exam- ines in depth what goes into these memorable inno- vations. Using social science studies combined with telling anecdotes, Grant tries to combat the com- mon misconception that ground-breaking advances are somehow a result of fate. Rather, achievement is the result of hard work, character and, more often than not, previous failures. T e most resonant message of “Originals” focuses


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on how organizations can excel by fostering creativ- ity and nonconformity in its individuals. T ese les- sons are also the most applicable for managers and executives. Grant’s critical examination of platitudes like “thinking outside the box” is enlightening in distinguishing between lip-service and real strategy. Commitment to the cause is important; groupthink is destructive. Attention is paid to improving one’s own ability


to foster and harness originality. In this, “Originals” can be an interesting work that forces the reader to examine thought processes and actions. Grant dives into what goes into becoming an eff ective risk-taker, which includes less glamorous things like research and hedging. It also takes work, which is evidenced by describing how many failures were left in T omas Edison’s wake, for example. We remember his suc- cesses, but the hundred of patents that fi ll fi ling cabinets show it’s not only about quality. T e best idea cannot be the only idea. Grant’s stories about Jackie Robinson and


Steve Jobs are delivered in novel fashion, even if the cliff hanger delivery relies a bit too much on a fi nal reveal. But for those in the business, specifi - cally metalcasting, this book does more to improve performance at the offi ce than elsewhere. A professor at the Wharton School of Busi-


ness, Grant writes with an ease and authority that makes “Originals” readable. T e book hopes to foster creativity in the name of advancement. To that end, it delivers a few lessons worth learning—at least as many as you’ll glean from Tom & Jerry reruns.


76 | MODERN CASTING March 2016


f cartoons have taught me anythi… Wait a minute. Of the many lessons I’ve learned from cartoons, one concept that’s clear is inspiration


ABRIDGED


Relevance to Metalcasters Technical Diffi culty Self-Help Fluff Profi t Booster


When you remember that rules and systems were created by people, it


becomes clear that they’re not set in stone—and you


begin to consider how they can be improved.


Metalcasters’ Translation: In any business, questions met with a response of, “Well,


that’s how we’ve always done it,” is cause for concern. In an industry, such as metalcasting, that prides itself on tradi- tion and history, the old way isn’t always the right way. It’s important for CEOs, executives, shift managers and hourly employees to challenge the status quo. Solving problems or making decisions should be done with critical analysis that also encourages new and diff erent solutions. If the way you’ve always done it is best, great. If not, be original.


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