What We're Into: Challenging the Status Quo

Moving from idea to action often requires going against the conventional notions of what works. These talks and books fly in the face of common assumptions, and show the power of challenging the norm.

TED Talks: Margaret Heffernan, "Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work" and "Dare to disagree"

In this pair of TED Talks, Margaret Heffernan challenges two entrenched ideas about how teams should work in business, and envisions new, healthier alternatives. "Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work" argues that rather than focusing on star employees and stoking competition, companies should encourage social cohesion and mutual support to motivate people to do their best work.

In "Dare to disagree," Heffernan explains that constructive disagreement is essential to progress. A great business (or any) relationship isn't just an echo chamber — it allows for natural conflict that moves toward stronger ideas.

TED Talk: Dan Pallotta, "The way we think about charity is dead wrong"

The current nonprofit model is built in a way that inevitably preserves the status quo — in fact, it actively discourages innovation. Dan Pallotta explains that we need to rethink charity in order to encourage new solutions to the country's and the world's problems.

Book: Adam Grant, Give and Take

In this book, Adam Grant argues that relationships are more important to success than the individual drive we often focus on. We underestimate "givers," people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return, and how giving is actually a path to success.

Book: Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz goes against the grain of management books with this honest memoir on the actual problems and difficulties of running a start-up.