Everyone feels stuck, whether you’re wrestling through a difficult project or trying to mend a friendship. “People believe that stuckness is inevitable,” says Adam Alter. “And it is—but it turns out to be surmountable.” A New York Times bestselling author and TED mainstage speaker, Adam has spent the past two decades learning how to overcome the forces that keep us stuck, escape our inertia, unleash our full creative potential, and reach our long-term goals.
Adam’s highly anticipated new book Anatomy of a Breakthrough is already winning critical raves and media attention. “I loved it,” says Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, the NYU marketing professor weaves together scientific studies and practical strategies to show how we can flourish in the face of friction. Along the way, he draws lessons from the soccer player who sacrifices the first few minutes of a game in order to win the rest, the “black sheep” method that Pixar uses to boost the innovation of an entire team, the “real-life Dr. House” whose checklists bring him 75% of the way to a breakthrough, and much more.
“Getting stuck and searching for breakthroughs feels messy and unpredictable,” Adam tells Lavin. “But just like building a house or putting together a jigsaw puzzle, there’s a series of steps that together enable you to manufacture breakthroughs and to shrink periods of friction. Anatomy of a Breakthrough is that roadmap.”
Read about Adam’s book in The New York Times: “A wonderful concept. Anatomy of a Breakthrough tackles the internal factors that keep you mired in the mud [and] provides a primer on changing ingrained habits.”
Listen to Adam on Harvard Business Review‘s IdeaCast: “Small bursts of action, even if they’re not themselves directly productive, are great unsticking mechanisms. Just the act of acting itself is one of the best unstickers.”
And watch an exclusive Lavin interview with Adam where he explains how ChatGPT can serve as an “agent of chaos” and help you unlock your best ideas: