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Innovate better by thinking like an original

Every step, decision, and innovation you make forms a part of your legacy.

While success metrics, profit margins, and market shares play their roles, it's the purpose and meaning behind your venture that truly sets you apart.

How do you then infuse this sense of purpose with a unique flair, ensuring your mark is both impactful and original?

The key lies in cultivating the mindset of an "original," as championed by thinkers like Adam Grant.

Adam Grant's insightful book, "Originals," dives deep into the psyche of those who defy conventions and bravely charter new territories.

But beyond the allure of innovation, originality is intrinsically tied to purpose.

Original thinkers don't just seek to be different; they strive to bring meaningful change, to introduce ideas that resonate with their core values and purpose, and to leave a lasting, authentic imprint on the world.

Innovation isn't about reinventing the wheel but about viewing that wheel from a unique perspective.

A study by Mueller et al. (2012) revealed that creative ideas often get rejected in favor of the familiar, underscoring the inherent challenges faced by original thinkers.

However, the study also highlighted that such original ideas are the ones that can disrupt industries and bring transformative changes.

For entrepreneurs, embracing originality can be the difference between blending in and standing out. It can define brand identity, foster innovation, and carve out a distinctive niche in the market.

Practice it

Today, as you work on your practice, challenge yourself. Don't just seek information; look for unconventional perspectives or unfamiliar viewpoints.

Being an original in entrepreneurship is about championing uniqueness, challenging conventions, and having the courage to act on it. It's not about being different for the sake of it but about genuinely offering a unique value proposition to the world.

Question the Familiar: Pick a business process or belief you've always held. Challenge it. Why is it that way? Is there a different approach?

Seek Diverse Inputs: Engage with people outside your usual circle or industry. Their perspectives can spark fresh insights or ideas.

Document Your Original Thoughts: Keep a journal of unconventional ideas or solutions that come to mind. They might not all be gems, but they're stepping stones to original thinking.

Implement a Novel Idea: Choose one original concept and test it in a small way in your business. Observe the results and iterate accordingly.

Celebrate Non-conformity: Encourage a culture in your team or business where challenging the norm is celebrated. Original thinking thrives in such environments.

Checking In

  1. How might embracing original thinking redefine success for your business?

  2. Can you recall a time when an unconventional approach led to unexpected positive results?

  3. What fears or barriers do you perceive when thinking about implementing original ideas, and how can you address them?


Mueller, J. S., Melwani, S., & Goncalo, J. A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13-17.

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