Francesca Gino is an Italian-American behavioral scientist, professor of Business Administration, and author of the book, "Rebel Talent."
When we think about rebellious behavior in the context of organizations and companies, we tend to think of rebels as trouble-makers, rabble-rousers; in other words, people who make decisions and processes more difficult because they may not follow the established rules or norms. But rebel behavior can also be incredibly positive and constructive—in keeping us from stagnation, encouraging growth and learning, increasing curiosity and creativity.In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, a social scientist who studies organizations, breaks down with a16z's Hanne Tidnam what makes rebels different in how they tend to see and do things—whether that’s cooking, flying planes, or holding board meetings—and what we can all learn from “rebel talent” to make our organizations more productive and innovative.
Francesca Gino studies rebels — people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. They know how, and when, to break the rules that should be broken. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we revisit our 2018 conversation with Gino.
Is your job turning into something you don’t want? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School. They talk through what to do when your boss gives you duties you dislike, your company is grooming you for roles you can’t see yourself in, or you’ve been offered a different job than the one you applied for. From Alison and Dan’s reading list: HBR: How to Say No to Taking on More Work by Rebecca Knight — “Sometimes you have too much on your plate or you’re just not interested in taking on a project you’ve been asked to work on. You might not have a choice in the matter, but if you do, how do you turn down the opportunity in a way that won’t offend the person offering? How can you avoid being labeled ‘not a team player’ or ‘difficult to work with’?” HBR: How to Tell Your Boss You Don’t Want a Promotion by Patricia Thompson — “As an executive coach, I’ve worked with many talented individuals who had the potential to be promoted, but were uninterested in taking on more. Sharing this desire with their bosses often felt threatening, particularly because they were seen as talented, and often, as possible successors. Striking the balance between advocating for their own wishes without seeming ungrateful or unambitious was a challenge.” HBR: Managing Yourself: Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Want by Amy Wrzesniewski, Justin M. Berg, and Jane E. Dutton— “Job crafting is a simple visual framework that can help you make meaningful and lasting changes in your job—in good economies and bad. But it all has to start with taking a step back from the daily grind and realizing that you actually have the ability to reconfigure the elements of your work.” HBR: The Surprising Power of Questions by Alison Wood Brooks and Leslie John — “Questioning is a uniquely powerful tool for unlocking value in organizations: It spurs learning and the exchange of ideas, it fuels innovation and performance improvement, it builds rapport and trust among team members.”
Imagine a company where 100% of the employees are rebels – would it be chaotic or wonderful? Our guest from the Harvard Business School, Francesca Gino PhD, argues that rebels are not just essential, but they can improve corporate effectiveness. Francesca is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School who describes herself as a curious behavioral scientist, passionate about teaching and helping leaders make wiser decisions that can improve their lives and those of the people around them. She’s the author of dozens of peer-reviewed articles on decision making and her books include Sidetracked (2013), and more recently, Rebel Talent, that covers a body of research findings highlighting why the most successful people break the rules, and how rebellion brings joy and meaning into our lives. Our discussion revealed that Francesca isn’t the kind of person who just doles out good advice, she often tests it out first on herself, her husband and children, her students and colleagues and even the business leaders she consults with! She’s a rebel thinker and doer and her drive to discover answers to the why-we-do-what-we-do question is without limits. Her findings reveal key methods that companies can use to help employees remain curious and to steer employees clear of the day-to-day ruts that are so easy to fall into. In the grooving session that follows our discussion with Francesca, we dig deeper into the application of curiosity, psychological safety and extremely powerful (and portable) conversation too, “Yes, and…” Kurt and Tim share ways in which we’ve seen “yes, and…” is applied successfully in workshops, brainstorming sessions, corporate meetings, and presentations in the corporate world. We hope you enjoy our conversation with the rebel Francesca Gino. If you enjoyed this episode, please don’t hesitate to give us a positive rating on your favorite podcatching service. © 2019/2020 Behavioral Grooves Links Francesca Gino: Rebel Talent: Sidetracked: After the episode, Francesca told us that she listened to Youngblood’s version of 5 Seconds of Summer: Julia Minson, PhD at the Kennedy School at Harvard: Pixar Animation Studios: The Ballad of Lucinda (by Tim Houlihan): Blog Post on PADI certification (by Ben Granlund): St. Vincent (on sounds): Blasphemous Rumors (by Depeche Mode): Kurt Nelson: @motivationguru and Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan and   Subscribe to Behavioral Grooves:
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Creator Details

Apr 18th, 1978
Cambridge, Maryland, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
3 hours, 39 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 419837