Organizational Psychology Pioneer to Headline AFP 2022

  • By AFP Staff
  • Published: 2/22/2022

How can we find motivation and meaning, rethink assumptions and live more generous and creative lives? Just ask Adam Grant.

Known the world over as a pioneer of organizational psychology, Grant’s popularity is vividly illustrated not only in his 32-page résumé, but across the internet through over six million followers on social media, more than 30 million views of his TED Talks, 5 New York Times bestselling books, a chart-topping podcast (“WorkLife”), and a seven-year record as the Wharton School’s top-rated professor. And this year, he’s also the AFP 2022 Tuesday Keynote.

By way of prolific and passionate writings, talks and teachings, Grant is helping us rethink leadership, work and life. In his newest book, “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know,” Grant encourages us to reconsider the assumptions and convictions we’ve built up over a lifetime.

“Some psychologists point out that we’re mental misers: we often prefer the ease of hanging on to old views over the difficulty of grappling with new ones. Yet there are also deeper forces behind our resistance to rethinking. Questioning ourselves makes the world more unpredictable. It requires us to admit that the facts may have changed, that what was once right may now be wrong. Reconsidering something we believe deeply can threaten our identities, making it feel as if we’re losing a part of ourselves.”

This call to question doesn’t mean everything we think is wrong; it simply means much of what we think we know is worth a review. In a time when we are all rethinking how we work, the meaning we attach to work, and the systems and processes in which we’re entrenched, Grant’s call to action is a thought-provoking and timely guide.

What would a world of rethinkers look like, Harry Smith of NBC recently asked Grant in an interview: “We’d live in a world with more humility, less overconfidence, more curiosity, less conviction, and then we could be proud of the choices we made,” said Grant.

We might call Grant a wunderkind. Others have. So why is he still searching for answers? It is his nature. While others seek to discover what makes him a superstar; he seeks to discover what makes him human.

Not only does AFP 2022 feature WORLD CLASS SPEAKERS, but it is the ideal environment to explore new ways of thinking so you can approach your work with new insights, inspiration and real-world strategies. Registration is now open.

Who is the man behind the image, and how did he get where he is today? The son of a lawyer and a teacher, Grant grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where he was a Junior Olympic springboard diver and aspiring professional basketball player. Putting aside his dreams of the dribble, Grant worked as a magician while attending Harvard University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then went on to the University of Michigan where, in three years, Grant earned his master’s and PhD in organizational psychology. This is where he also met his wife, Allison; they have two daughters and a son.

While only 29 years of age, Grant became Wharton’s youngest tenured professor, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award for every class he taught. He is the founder and host of the Authors@Wharton speaker series, and co-director of Wharton People Analytics. He curates the Next Big Idea Club along with Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Pink.

Grant’s speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, Bridgewater, and the Gates Foundation. In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, we learn that these organizations “look to him for guidance on sticky issues like how to hire people, keep employees motivated, foster good ideas, and build a healthy workplace culture. Or, as he puts it: ‘How to make work not suck.’”

He writes on work and psychology for The New York Times, has served on the Defense Innovation Board at the Pentagon, and was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. And, Grant has been named one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40.

The evidence is clear: whether you’re a devoted follower already, or this is the first you’ve heard of him, Adam Grant’s contributions and challenge to the status quo make him one speaker you simply can’t miss.

Are you ready to question the status quo? Join us in Philadelphia this October for Adam Grant's Keynote, “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.” 

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