Book Review: Think Again
Author: Adam Grant
I have to start by admitting that reviewing this book has been more difficult than most books. First, I have been distracted in a few other things which meant that reading this book took a lot more time than it should have. Somshekhar – whose intellectual curiosities coincide with mine (although he has a far more wisdom than I do) had pointed me to this book. Another bibliophile that I rely on – Soumyadipta – however, was lukewarm on this book (at least in comparison with Adam Grant’s other books). That was a conundrum I had to solve by reading it thoroughly and judge for myself.
I have independently landed with the opinion that this is a two thumbs up book.
It does a fascinating job of questioning one’s own biases and the fallacy of letting one’s identity be defined by one’s opinions (the concept of ego). Instead, he delves into the benefits of doubt and joy of being wrong. (I recognize that the concept of deriving joy from being wrong can raise a few eyebrows).
Recently I was at a coffee shop when a young lady came in with her toddler. When she let him down, he moved around like a drunk person hitting a thing here and there and trying to learn how to stay up balanced and take a few steps. As the book predicted, we all were filled with joy and clapped to encourage the kid.
But ask yourself – if your friend suddenly decided to learn skateboarding (okay, that hit too close to home 🙂 ) – and a few of you watch him taking steps like he was three sheets to the wind, the usual reaction is to laugh … not clap and encourage. Why is it that we accept that kids will make mistakes as they learn but we do not recognize that in adults?
The author then delves into a topic rather close to my heart – creating learning organizations. I thought he demonstrated surprisingly deep understanding of corporate culture on this topic.
If not anything else, you are bound to learn how to have very nuanced conversations – how to complexify contentious topics and not shy away from caveats and contingencies.
Like I said, two thumbs up from me.