November 2022 Book Review

The AMCI Reading Corner is a crowdsourced resource share aimed to serve as a platform for the AMCI community to share book recommendations and reflect with personal takeaways. Starting with monthly postings, more ways to engage will be shared as the idea grows.

This month, Jill Miller of Impact Association Management, shares her review of Think Again by Adam Grant

Recently, my six-year-old asked if I knew the world record for underwater breath-holding. Drawing from my childhood knowledge, I estimated six or so minutes until we consulted the internet and learned that a new breath-holding world record was set in 2021, at just over 24 minutes. We were floored! I couldn’t believe how far off my estimate was - or how much the record had changed over the past 20 years. As the world seems to be changing faster than ever, I find myself often needing to revise my knowledge set.

Think Again, by Adam Grant, provides a compelling mix of data and storytelling to encourage us to re-think what we think we know– and consider that perhaps we should not assume to know anything at all. It investigates the biases and assumptions that we bring to our decision-making, and describes how individuals and organizations can benefit from a mindset of lifelong curiosity.

As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds–and our own. He states, “Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: there’s evidence that being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.”

Grant provides some interesting evidence that the success achieved by some of the world’s strongest business leaders is a direct result of their high degree of comfort with being wrong and, consequently, open to new ideas. Research has shown that leaders who are comfortable with regularly being incorrect are more likely to seek constructive feedback, and end up leading more productive and innovative teams. Additionally, because these leaders allow themselves freedom from perfection, they illustrate to their employees a culture that is open to free-thinking and new ideas – even when those ideas may turn out to be complete failures!

Grant shares an array of enjoyable stories and anecdotes in in his book that include how an international debate champion wins arguments, how a Black musician leads white supremacists to abandon hate, and how Adam convinced Yankees fans to cheer for the Red Sox.

If you’re looking for ways to embrace the joy of being wrong, as well as revive your natural curiosity for the world, consider Think Again by Adam Grant.

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