Skip to Content
Resource Articles //

Why Every Business Needs Original Thinkers

Entrepreneur, procrastination could be key.

– Adam Grant, TED Talk1

Originals can see a big idea and make it happen: Take the world of hospitality by storm and create an online interface to rent strangers’ homes. Create an e-commerce site for inexpensive eyeglasses and capitalize on a billion-dollar idea. When an organization encourages and cultivates original thought, it can reap the benefits.


So how can your organization identify original thinkers? Do you look for candidates from the best business schools or top MBA programs? Should you tap into the Silicon Valley mindset and create an environment filled with ping-pong tables and eccentric design?

Understanding what contributes to original thinking is key to hiring the right people. Management needs to acknowledge the importance of original thinkers and take steps to foster the right environment.

Creativity Is a Must-Have

The first step you should take is admitting that creativity and originality are no longer optional in business. From your CEO to your administrative assistant, every employee in the organization needs to understand the importance of creativity and original thought. Give your employees permission to take ownership and excel because of their creative ideas.

For example, Zingerman’s Community of Business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a group of businesses that includes a deli, bakery, and candy manufacturer. Their focus may be on food, but they encourage positive experiences throughout their community. After the food costs in the Roadhouse restaurant escalated, a dishwasher made a recommendation about how to minimize waste and saved the company money.2

The Beauty of Procrastination

Many people are familiar with that feeling of dread. Maybe a deadline is looming, and suddenly you decide you need to clean the attic or overhaul your closet. Procrastination strikes again. But what if procrastination is more than just the temptation to put off your work?

In his TED Talk, Adam Grant touches on some of the benefits of procrastination, specifically as it relates to creativity. He mentions how he has always been the opposite of a procrastinator, but that sometimes that mindset can be beneficial.

“Procrastinating is a vice when it comes to productivity, but it can be a virtue when it comes to creativity,” Grant said.1

In a study conducted by one of his students, it was found that moderate procrastinators are 16% more creative than the comparison groups, the people who race to create new ideas and the people who procrastinate too long to form new ideas. By moderately procrastinating, people are able to marinate on ideas and potentially come up with creative solutions.1

Doubt the Default

Original thinkers question the way things have always been done. It can be as simple as which web browser you use. A study conducted by Cornerstone OnDemand reasoned that employees who took the time to install new software have a different way of thinking—they stray from the default.3

A number of factors contribute to the overall success of an organization. From colleagues with a business administration degree to hiring original thinkers, it takes diversity to make a company prosper.

Ready to jump into an inspired online degree program like an original thinker would? Walden University, an accredited institution, is prepared to partner with you and set you up for success. Explore how Walden can make your MBA degree or other online degree a reality.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program online in both course-based and competency-based formats. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,