Last year, the Villanova HRD Program introduced its own version of the Villanova One Book Tradition. The Villanova One Book Tradition is a campus-wide program where each year one book, worthy of close reading, is selected for the University community - faculty, staff, students, alumni - to read and engage in discussion. For the second year, the Graduate HRD Program has selected a book that we feel our graduate HRD students, alumni, faculty and wider HR community should read to stimulate conversations and ideas in our HR community.
This year the #VUHRDOneBook is Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant. While this book is not specific to HR, the idea of innovation and original thinking is important for HR professionals. HR must find ways to encourage original thinking in our organizations if we hope to compete in the constantly changing business environment. This book by Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, identifies some of the common, yet surprising, characteristics of original thinkers and how leaders can encourage these types of people and ideas in their organizations. Adam Grant's TED talk on the surprising habits of original thinkers will introduce you to a few of the ideas presented in the book.
If you aren't convinced yet that this book is worth reading, take a look at what two of our HRD students are saying about the book so far...
"The mistakes we regret are not errors of commission, but errors of omission. If we could do things over, most of us would censor ourselves less and express our ideas more." This quote from the book really inspired me because I've had many times, whether it be in class, at work, or among friends, where I have had ideas or thoughts that I wanted to share but was too scared to speak out loud in fear of judgment or rejection. I've definitely had issues with self-confidence in my ideas and I often delegate myself to the back or the side where I'm most comfortable. But then someone will say the exact thought that I was quietly sitting on and, as I see that other people embrace that thought with acceptance and agreement, I immediately regret censoring myself and stifling my ability to express my ideas. I decided to enroll the in HRD program because I really have found myself developing a passion for human resources and managing and developing human capital. Seeing as how one of HR's main goals is to achieve a "seat at the table" and align itself with with the organization's overall business strategy, that will require me to stand up, voice my opinion, and express my ideas. This is one important takeaway from this book.
--Emma Edoga, Graduate Assistant in the HRD Program
"To become original, you have to try something new, which means accepting some measure of risk." This quote inspires me because upon self-reflection, I realized the best outcomes in my life occurred when I took risks. Challenging yourself is not easy, however, it definitely strengthens you both personally and professionally.
--Megan Peiffer, Graduate Assistant in the HRD Program
We hope you will join us in reading this great book and join in our conversation! Check back to the blog once a month for our thoughts on the chapters and a few discussion questions to take back to your team, class or colleagues. Happy reading! #VUHRDOneBook
Bethany J. Adams, MA is an Assistant Director in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. Learn more about her here!