Day Three Summary of #SHRM18

Adam Grant speaking to 22,000 attendees.

McCormick Place in Chicago is a huge venue. By day three you are foot tired, but the information!

Adam Grant

Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology. He spoke about principles that he has discovered in his research. He was both informative and entertaining. He started by telling us a story of a guy in college who created a program to connect with friends at college. The story of Facebook? No, Grant did that but shut it down a couple of years before Zuckerberg created Facebook.
He told us of his research, which he has published in his book. He was investigating the issue of why some companies are successful with people and why others are not quite as successful. It is hard for me to repeat his entire presentation, but here are some of the notes I took:

  • Who do you hire? What skills are needed? Hire stars? Culture fit? Culture is good for the startup. Once go public culture fit is wrong. Rating on Googliness but no definition. Don’t become a culture museum. Job crafting exercise.
  • Superstar productivity makes those near them more productive by proximity.
  • Givers vs takers
  • Givers save you $5,303. Takers, the toxic employee, costs over $12k
  • Theft rate – data show that the higher you think people steal the more likely you are to be a theft.
  • We misjudge people.
  • Disagreeable givers are the people that bring high value. More committed advocates. More credible.
  • Build an upward challenge network
  • People push each other because they think they can do better. Many leaders shut these people down.
  • If you have a critical opinion you have no right to keep it to yourself. Bridgewater hedge fund.
  • Create a problem box rather than a suggestion box.
  • Organizational uniqueness bias—must be avoided. Closes you off to innovation.
  • Is it safe, is it fair, am I going to be fired?
  • Create new channels for knowledge sharing.
  • End exit interview. Do entry interviews. Ask people at the get-go what you could do better.
  • Ask what is broken in our interview process?
  • The rate of idea generation and acceptance drives more profitability.
  • Reject culture fit.


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