Think of it as an operating manual for regularly recalibrating our perspective on how we connect to people, places, and ideas.
Sometimes you take on an assignment that you immediately realize you may not be equipped to do. However, you pursue the challenge because you hope to learn a thing or two from the experience.
Before I began a book review of Adam Grant’s Think Again, I have to admit I did not know the author by name or deed. Since then, I have seen or heard Grant’s name on an expanding and frequent basis. Recently, while binge watching Billions, one of my favorite series on Showtime, two of the high-powered characters were trying to impress one another by quoting from books on innovative thinking and questioning the norms. Sure enough, the book quoted by the leading billionaire was Think Again by Grant.
I won’t go toe to toe with wicked-smart screenwriters and can’t say for certain what it is about Think Again that makes it so often quoted. Perhaps consider that the last few years have opened all of us up to challenging our long-held beliefs. Phrases such as “trust no one” and “question everything” kept running through my head as I wandered through the book’s prologue. A word of advice: Don’t skip the prologue as many readers may be tempted to do, because Grant lays out the road map for what will follow. Trust me—while it doesn’t make the shortest route to the far end of the book, the prologue does help navigate Grant’s thinking, which can feel fragmented.
In fact, the information does not appear intended to be digested in a linear progression. Instead, treat this manuscript as a collection of allegories gleaned from years of scientific research and observations and arranged into chunks of relevant topics, many currently impacting executive association management.
One chapter drills deep into bias and prejudice. Considering the rapid rise in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in our culture these past few years, it will likely generate some thoughtful contemplation. Reading the case studies will enlighten and illustrate the formation of stereotypes that we must finally evolve out of our culture.
With a heavy emphasis on social science dusted with bits of thoughtful whimsy, Think Again may not be an easy weekend read, but think of it as an operating manual for regularly recalibrating our perspective on how we connect to people, places, and ideas. The return to the Preacher, Prosecutor, Politician, and Scientist—four modes of thinking—throughout the book reminds the reader to frequently stop and review one’s position on any of the topics discussed within the text.
If you have ever been called out for your lack of communication skills, Think Again offers some great understanding about how to redress your approach. Face it, we’re currently dealing with six—and some would argue seven—generations on this planet. Never has this happened in our history as a species, and when you add in the various technologies being used, it’s no wonder we’re frustrated. This book will help you to move past any entrenched preferences that continue to cloud our individual judgment.
Exploring the power of knowing what you don’t know—which also happens to be the subtitle of Grant’s book—is highly critical at this time in society. All of our board directors now have a copy of Think Again for our next foray into strategic thinking.