Originality is needed to solve tricky problems and come up with a start up idea. How can we foster originality?

During my time on a sports team, my coach asked the team to listen to a conversation between Wharton professor Adam Grant and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (who are also both best-selling authors, by the way). I’m not entirely sure of the motives of my coach in making this request, as I can’t recall any other time he referenced anything outside of the sport he coaches.

His request was one year ago, and all high quality versions of Grant and Sandberg’s half-hour-long interview have been removed from Youtube since then. Luckily, I have a full page of notes to help:

People who try the hardest fail the most times.

Creativity can be efficiently encouraged through strategic procrastination: starting early, putting it off (your work will still be thought about with the back of your mind after doing so), and then resuming.

In generating ideas, quantity equals quality. That is, the more original ideas you have, the higher chance you get of succeeding.

Look critically at your ideas. Don’t celebrate simply at its uniqueness, because your idea must be something the market needs. Think of other people as you generate your idea.

Take smart risks by having the risk be surrounded by security. Bill Gates didn’t immediately drop out of Harvard upon starting Microsoft. Keep your job while chasing risky dreams. True creativity comes when there is a safe place to be able to fail.

Build your confidence by thinking, “I’m just not there yet.”

My favorite: don’t make the right decision. Make the decision right.

Grant’s methods on generating good and original ideas are truly…original!

Chase Robbins