What makes Duhigg’s books work – both this and the earlier “Power of Habit” – is not that he is doing any unique and new research. What makes his books work is a strange alchemy that makes the familiar new again while he spins the unfamiliar in with it.
For example, in this book one of the stories he talks about is the redevelopment of the factory in California that was a failing GM plant but became NUMMI through a team-up with Toyota. Now, I’ve been to business school, so you can bet that I have heard about the Toyota way and have the book on my shelf. But Duhigg takes that story and personalizes it so that the reader learns along with the person in the book and the familiar becomes new.
And that’s just one example. The author looks at eight different frames on how we can become better at what we do in a more productive manner through the power of storytelling. It’s as if the book wants to be a social science book and a novel and a self-help book all at once while at the same time never being any one of those on a stand-alone basis. It was a fun read and I hope that I absorbed some of it so that I too can become smarter and faster and better.
NB: I was provided with a review copy of this text in exchange for the possibility of a review