Original thinking is something lots of people think is just the remit of a very clever through. Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Colonel Sanders.
I had some time on the train to London recently and downloaded a few TED talks to watch. These three gave me something different to think about. Here’s why I’d watch them.
Original thinkers with Adam Grant
If you’re a procrastinator, you’ll love this one. In fact, are you a procrastinator or a precrastinator? I love his definitions.
What’s key here I think is his description of first movers versus improvers. I like his take that to be an original you don’t have to be first you just have to be different and better. Think about how much that goes against the “perceived” wisdom. But also how often you see that come true.
I also think there’s something really valuable in the self-doubt versus idea doubt thought. Original thinkers only doubt the idea, not themselves. And that you need a lot of bad ideas to get a few good ones.
It’s also worth warning you there’s a dreadful Frozen pun. Stick with it though, it’s worth it. And here’s to original thinking with all its benefits.
Don’t fail fast, fail mindfully with Leticia Gasca
There’s an interesting starting point here. If we excessively punish failure, we stifle innovation. She also has an interesting perspective on failing fast. I think it’s worth a watch, what’s your perspective on failure?
If I link it to the first video, then having lots of bad ideas means you have to do some failing to get to the good stuff. I guess it’s the business equivalent of having to kiss a lot of frogs to get to a prince.
Making up new words with Erin McKean
As a writer, I love language and words. This one is a short video, and I love Erin’s use of language and her endorsement of making stuff up. I think it’s great to think about you can make any kind of word up, as long as someone understands it. The video made me laugh, but it’s also quite thought provoking.
I’ve got some more train journies coming up. Are there any TED talks you’ve watched recently that you’d recommend? I think they are always such a great use of 15 or 20 minutes of the day. Sometimes it’s best not to get lost on the site for too long, it’s supposed to be a boost to your productivity, not a sap on it.