Adam Grant's "give and take"

By William Seidman Have you read Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by organizational psychologist (and Wharton professor of management) Adam Grant? Give and Take is about “reciprocity styles” – basically, how people interact with others. Grant describes three styles of reciprocity: Givers (altruistic people who give to others without an expectation of reciprocity), Takers (people who are in it for themselves) and Matchers (people who expect equal giving in response to their giving) Grant refines this model by identifying Fakers (takers who pretend to be givers), Selfless Givers (who give so much they are doormats) and Otherish Givers (givers with boundaries). He argues that Otherish Givers, over time, significantly outperform the other categories, and communities of Otherish Givers significantly outperform taker and matcher organizations. I would support his perspective for two reasons: 1. Grant’s notion of optimal individual “giving” is almost exactly the way positive exemplars (formerly positive deviants) function, and we know that they outperform others. 2. His notion of “a giving community” is almost exactly what gets created in the new version of the social Learning Groups we use. The positive exemplars give because they are motivated to achieve a greater purpose and realize that they can’t achieve it alone. The Learning Groups become givers because they are a community collectively helping each other to achieve a greater purpose. Like so many business books, this is an interesting theoretical model lacking a method to make it an organizational reality. In that sense, the Cerebyte Star Factor methodology is a valuable complement to Give and Take. It shows people how to find the best givers, guide others to become givers, and create a giver community.  ]]>

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