Read The Power Of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success by Amanda Lang Online


The urge to question is natural for small children—just ask any parent. But few of us are aware that it is also one of the most vital tools for success. In The Power of Why, Amanda Lang shows how curiosity and the ability to ask the right questions fuels innovation and can drive change not just in business but also in our personal lives.Weaving together the latest researchThe urge to question is natural for small children—just ask any parent. But few of us are aware that it is also one of the most vital tools for success. In The Power of Why, Amanda Lang shows how curiosity and the ability to ask the right questions fuels innovation and can drive change not just in business but also in our personal lives.Weaving together the latest research with in-depth profiles of innovators from around the world, Lang explores how to harness and develop the power of curiosity. She reveals how a major retailer set out to discover what really makes men happy—and was stunned by the results. She finds out why, at one particular hospital, nurses think it’s better if they don’t wash their hands. She learns why the most common methods of brainstorming don’t actually work and discovers a new soccer ball that could change the world.A book that challenges conventional wisdom and offers practical, inspiring advice, The Power of Why shows how it’s possible to reignite your innate curiosity and overcome long-standing barriers—leaving you more creative, productive and fulfilled in your job and happier in your relationships....

Title : The Power Of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781443413206
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Power Of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success Reviews

  • Vikki VanSickle
    2019-01-24 23:25

    I saw Amanda Lang speak and was immediately charmed by her. I am so pleased that her book is just as inviting as Lang is as a person. The book has a conversational, friendly tone and is full of interesting anecdotes about innovation in business that Lang then applies to everyday life. I don't read a ton of business books, and while business types will enjoy this book, THE POWER OF WHY fits more in the Malcolm Gladwell niche of narrative non-fiction with mass appeal. I found myself jotting down notes and things I want to apply as a writer and in my job. A breezy, interesting and insightful read for anyone who is curious about innovation and creativity.

  • Andrew
    2019-01-23 04:43

    Ever just had to know? Does your child end every conversation with “why?” The Power of Why by CBC correspondent Amanda Lang explores the connections between curiosity and innovation. From shrimp farmers to Canadian Tire, Lang explains how curiosity-driven enterprises find success. Lang opens with a gripping story of an inventor who couldn’t resist testing his invention before she embarks on a whirlwind tour of contemporary innovators, including some great Canadian success stories like Lululemon, Roots, and the Four Seasons. There's so much in here that the book reads like a wide-ranging conversation with an enthusiast for curiosity. No doubt Lang's day-job working with businessmen and entrepreneurs contributes to her own curiosity, but she does a great job of sharing her enthusiasm and pushing her readers to question their work and lives. Check out this book. I think it's going to become a Canadian classic.I'm on Twitter: @Dr_A_Taubman

  • Andraena Tilgner
    2019-01-26 00:23

    Someone should hit me over the head with this one when I get too goal focused. A nice reminder, not just for business, to slow down and look around a bit. I find the style a bit preachy but the subject matter is great and that more than compensates.

  • Patrik
    2019-02-17 00:16

    I really enjoyed the first 80, or so, pages of this book - after that it became to business-y for me. I totally understand this transition as Lang is a business correspondent. However, for me as an educator and a parent the opening third was fascinating.The educational thinking echoes that now famous through people like Sir Ken Robinson about today's school being yesterday's and not the school of the future. It was particularly interesting to follow her argument about how our Ivy league schools are losing their quality because of the type of students they attract. Students who are taught to master the game of "intellectual hide-and-seek" (trying to find the answer their teacher is looking for rather than think for themselves) gain great grades and attend Ivy league schools. At these schools they attend lectures where one professor holds all the knowledge and releases pieces of it to 300 students at a time in giant lectures. This does not create innovative, risk-taking, future-focused individuals. Consequently as a parent we may be better off choosing a lower-tiered university.

  • Madelle Morgan
    2019-01-30 01:18

    This is an accessible book that describes how several companies successfully incorporated innovation into their corporate cultures, and describes what happened to those that were complacent. The author names names.The key takeaway for me was Amanda Lang's proposition that creative thinking is suppressed from a young age due to the focus on grades in our schools and universities. Those kids grow up to be compliant employees who are reluctant to take the risk of "being wrong", question rigid corporate processes, or speak out against the general consensus of their peers and management. All is not lost for the person who has gone through the Canadian education system, however. Amanda says that people can develop divergent thinking by living in another country for a period of time. Apparently travel to foreign climes is not sufficient - one has to be immersed in the culture. My proposition to Canadian business students: no need to go overseas. Study in Quebec for a semester or two! Managers in businesses that are still owned by Canadians need to read this book, if only to avoid being one of Amanda's case studies of failure in her next book. People who invest their hard-earned money in company stocks need to read this book. Innovative companies are survivors in a world that's constantly changing.

  • Chantal Boudreau
    2019-01-28 22:35

    I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book because Ms. Lang was a keynote speaker at this year’s CMA conference in Nova Scotia. The book discusses the importance of innovative thinking, which includes trying to recapture the type of curiosity we had as a young child before the industrial-era-developed school systems we still have place in our innovation-era world killed that curiosity. It touches on the need for divergent thought, the ability to explore many answers rather than just focussing on the one “right” answer and the freedom to fail in order to be able to create.I love the concepts in this book as well as the case studies of a variety of innovators and examples where divergent thinking and a willingness to move beyond accepted norms allowed for new inventions that did change or may change entire industries.My only minor complaints is that I did find the book a little repetitive in places (possibly for the sake of reinforcing important points) and I didn’t like the emphasis on competitiveness over cooperation - I guess because I have “too Canadian” a mentality.-A very good read for someone studying business, interested in innovation or just looking for some inspirational and positive stories.

  • Theresa
    2019-02-17 02:45

    This is a easy to read short book on the importance of business innovation and how it is driven by curiosity and hard work. The Canadian slant is a nice change since it offers a refreshing variety of anecdotes that likely haven't appeared in other books on this topic.The importance of curiosity, the need to identify and challenge your assumptions as well as the status quo are all addressed in this book. I especially enjoyed the end section on Quest University in British Columbia where the teaching style is designed to curiosity instead of memorization. It would be interesting if these students are tracked and see if they have an impact on the work they do in the future.

  • Wendy
    2019-02-08 23:24

    This book is about curiosity and creativity. 15 pages in, I was already wondering how curiosity is measured, and I came up with a program idea for a conference I'm helping to organize in the fall. Lang's training as a journalist shows itself in her crisp writing style. The book moves along at a good pace, and she keeps it human by injecting personal stories to illustrate points. An excellent read.

  • Daniel
    2019-02-16 03:36

    Interesting book. Curiosity is key to creativity and innovation. Lots of interesting anecdotes although some of them don’t quite fit. It seemed like the editing could have been better. Curiosity needs to be used to take action. It reminds me of the freakeconomics book chapter around thinking like a child. Asking why and seeing the world with the curiosity of a child but the abilities of an adult to take action is one theme. It also touches on a number of innovation research in an approachable way. For example, it talks about the pioneer vs builder innovation questionnaire. Do you prefer to create some5hing new or improve something that already exists?Overall, it’s been helpful in encouraging me to continue to be curious and clarifies that creativity and innovation comes in different flavours.

    2019-01-27 00:39


  • Jeff Smyth
    2019-02-11 21:39

    Amanda is one who think in the outer limits. She is a trailblazer and this book is a good reminder to remain focused on the big picture while accomplishing the minute details/tasks of the goals. Some what preachy but overall a fun read.

  • Lisa Marie
    2019-02-02 23:41

    When do we lose that sense of curiosity and wonder that we had when we were children? You know, that constant questioning of "why?" and the ability to fail without fear? Amanda Lang explains, "Curiousity declines from one grade to the next ... The reason is that, by and large, the education system (aided and abetted by many parents and governments) doesn't celebrate, much less tap into, children's hunger to explore, inquire and discover. The system simply isn't set up to do that. School were designed at the turn of the nineteenth century to meet the needs of a completely different economy, which required workers who'd been equipped with a reliable, standardized package of knowledge."In today's world of very fast paced changes and technology, there's a huge need for creative innovation, for questionning the way things work and coming up with something new. It's time to look outside the box. But, if our children are having their natural curiousity trained out of them, then how can we encourage it to continue?This book is packed with example after example of free-thinking innovators and their experiences in creativity, grabbing at you and keeping you turning page after page, as they are painted by Amanda's pen in full-colour. You get to hear about people/companies like Canadian Tire, a man determined to make saws safe, a shrimp farmer, elevator experts and more - all who developed and redeveloped new ideas and ways to do things. The stories are captivating, interesting, inspiring, and leave you trying to think of how you can follow their example in your own life. "...[A]llow yourself to dream big, forgive yourself when you don't quite get there and then try another path."This book has given me pause as a homeschooling parent to make sure that I encourage the questions, feed their curiousity, support their efforts for finding solutions, and remind them that failure doesn't mean the end. I think this quote from the movie Meet The Robinsons is exactly what this book is encouraging us to do: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. - Walt Disney"

  • Catherine Franssens
    2019-02-08 22:30

    An enjoyable read, and she does a nice job of pulling it all together. perhaps because she was preaching to the choir I can't say I found anything terribly ground breaking in this book.

  • Kathleen O'Grady
    2019-02-18 23:34

    Amanda Lang's first book is much like her CBC journalism performance: solid, intelligent, interesting and worth the time and effort. I learned many new things and enjoyed reading each chapter. The writing was seamless and there was a nice balance between Canadian and US-content, personal anecdotes and science and business facts.I'd like to say it makes the perfect airplane book, but that sounds patronizing and condescending -- but it would be a great companion on a short flight. It does not require too much effort on the reader's part and it will keep you engaged, like good long form journalism. But it won't blow your mind. There were no epiphanic 'aha' moments in the book for me, the structure was familiar: a melange of all of those business and self help books of 'ideas' we've all come to enjoy. There's nothing wrong with that, it just has a sense of predictability about it.One (deliberate) balancing act in the book which was jarring at times: it was never clear if this book was meant to be a personal self-help book (coaching those who want to take their careers and personal lives further) or a 'how to' book for businesses (or even governments) to capitalize on innovation. It tries to be all of the above and ends up doing a mediocre job on each instead.In all, worth a read, but no reason to rush to the bookstore for it. It stands up against the usual competition on the business self help bookshelves, neither better nor worse. But you'll find nothing deeper, more philosophical or challenging here.

  • Cathryne
    2019-02-09 04:18

    Amanda Lang successful made readers challenge their conventional thinking about innovation. I think by asking the question "why..." then you are able to creativity come up with innovative solutions. I particularly liked "Chapter 5: Dream Big" with the Addison Lawrence biography about how he innovated a common practice that was so simple as farming shrimp and revolutionized the practiced. It truly emphasized the concept of little children that have big imaginations and few doubts spilling over into adulthood. The goal of dreaming big is the ability to change the world and this can happen with child like attitude towards asking questions.Secondly, I enjoy how Amanda provides a solution to the problem highlighted throughout the book in the conclusion: the lack of innovation taught in high school and post secondary schools and how society stifles childlike wonderment. Quest university where the curriculum is organized on a block system with an emphasis on learning how questions are asked and answered in different fields.Finally, I think the 7 innovation myths that Amanda Lang highlights in the conclusion are also very important: 1. Innovation is about the newest thing; 2. Innovation is a solo activity;3. Innovation cannot be taught;4. Innovation is top down;5. You cannot force innovation;6. Change is always good; and7. Innovation is not for everyone.

  • Katie Martin
    2019-01-29 23:36

    I read this for my business book club at work. I found that it wasn't filled with revolutionary information but it did force me to look at things from a different perspective. I liked that Amanda used household name companies as examples, which I found made the lessons a bit more interesting. One of my favourite parts was when she described the exercise she did in university where her and her peers had to draw a candlestick - one image was upside down and the other was right side up - and how the upside down ones were more accurate because you had to look at the shape piece by piece and in a different way. I thought that was an interesting approach to tackling problems in everyday life. I recommend this book to people that are interested in the benefits of curiosity and that like business focused books.

  • Carla
    2019-02-02 05:43

    I don't have television, so I don't know Amanda Lang and I didn't realize this book came from a Canadian writer. That was a nice surprise because I know many of the companies that Lang describes in "The Power of Why". An interesting book that is meant to make us curious again, like when we were children. It's about creativity, innovation, questioning what seems to be normal. Lang collected many examples of people and companies that did look further and differently. Is it very different than other books about innovation? Not so much. Interesting, sure. The word "Why" seems to disappear after the introduction chapters and really is replaced with innovation. The idea is one (curiosity) leads to the other (innovation), but the book ends with "Innovation Myths", which confirms that this book mostly is aimed at innovation.

  • Dayna
    2019-02-21 04:17

    This book is very reminiscent of Malcom Gladwell's books, as is also obviously mirrored in the cover image. Although not as statistic based as some of Gladwell's books, Lang provides us with some inspiring stories and examples of how creativity, curiosity and asking questions are important tools for innovation, and in life. As Peter Mansbridge states, "This is a lot more than a business book, it’s a life book. Just pick it up for ten minutes and you'll find yourself thinking in some exciting, new, and yes, innovative ways." I agree with this statement, as reading the book has flicked a switch in my mind; a switch that has made me feel free to ask more questions, look at things from different perpectives, to wonder, to be creative. If you enjoyed Gladwell's books, you will enjoy the Power of Why.

  • Shirley
    2019-02-13 02:20

    As children, we were all curious and full of questions. The favourite word for a five year old is usually "why?" Not because they are trying to be difficult, but because they really want to know. Over the years spent in the educational system children are discouraged from being disruptive, the fear of failure grows and children are less inclined/discouraged to ask questions. Amanda Lang's theory of The Power of Why encourages that childlike wonderment, the curiosity, the lack of fear of failure, and a desire to learn. By allowing ourselves, our employees, our co-workers, our family members to think laterally, to embrace the challenges, and to respectfully question, we unleash the power of innovation and creative solutions. See my full review here: http://shirley-mybookshelf.blogspot.c...

  • Alysha
    2019-02-12 02:40

    "Self-awareness is the adult trait that elevates curiosity to a new place, where it's not just fun but powerful because it fuels not only engagement and interest, but also actual, implementable innovation. In ways big and small, asking questions make life richer, more fulfilling and more complete. Better. That's the power, and ultimately the purpose, of why". Amazing book! Great innovators, inventors, businesses and schools used to highlight how innovation and creativity have stemmed from the powerful question of why, and why not! Loved this book and for student affairs professionals take special note of the conclusion!

  • David Sky
    2019-02-15 00:28

    There is a lot to enjoy about this book - it was well written, researched, and put together. I enjoyed Amanda Lang’s personality and ‘voice’ appearing throughout the book. Much of the content is fascinating and far reaching - the importance of questions in the context of education, innovation, dealing with change, etc.. at work, and in our personal lives.The ideas were reasonably well supported with integrated case-studies and examples; primarily from the business world. There were times when I wish the book was more clearly split into two books, though: The Power of Why in Business, separate from The Power of Why in your Personal Life.

  • Renee
    2019-02-05 01:15

    I really enjoyed the chapter on diversity and innovation. Too often I find that we have difficulty coming up with ideas because we are all so similar and approach the challenge in the same way. Another compelling reason for diversity in the workplace. I also found the discussion of the status quo bias to be particularly relevant to both my professional and personal life. Fear of the unknown often holds us back. Since I am much more of a linear thinker, I found the book to contain great advice on approaching challenges in a divergent fashion. Think with the curiosity of a child. The book was well-written and an enjoyable read.

  • Maxine
    2019-02-05 21:19

    This book had more business management applications in it than I feel it had personal life applications, but nevertheless this is a great supremely interesting read. Discussions of curiosity, whether in life or in business, can sometimes be a bit dry and come across as too dogmatic. Yet here Lang's discussions of company's that have taken steps to be creative in work, in creating warm and inviting business atmospheres, and really just being company's (or independent thinkers) that value thinking outside the box has made this both a unique and really interesting read. I would recommend this for anybody who likes books on business or on business management or just learning something new.

  • Amy
    2019-02-17 05:22

    I enjoy Amanda Lang on her various news programs. I find her very personable, intelligent and a strong debater. However, I struggled to finish this book. On a positive note, I enjoyed the examples that she used to demonstrate the key learnings regarding innovation and being open to innovation. But after a few chapters, the content dried up. I think I could have stuck with 3 chapters and the conclusion. I will take away a few key salient points, but nothing too novel. I'll continue to seek out Ms Lang on tv or the speaker tour circuit, but I doubt that I'll reach for another book any time soon.

  • Wayne
    2019-01-24 23:32

    Mixed feelings about this book. It started well by investigating the reasons why the natural curiosity of children diminishes as they grow older. Ms Lang primarily blames our education system, which concentrates on memorization rather than open thinking. She then details the motivation and success of some modern inventors and CEOs that learned to think outside the box. I do take exception with her conclusion that we must totally revamp the education system in order to cultivate creativity. Perhaps when our high school graduates can read, write and spell then some modification of university courses should be considered.

  • Nick Leeson
    2019-02-04 05:35

    Lang forces us to think about how we can make positive change, not only in and for our own lives, but also impacts on the world around us. By being inherently curious about the world around you and not shying away from asking 'why?' and embracing divergent thinking we just may find solutions to otherwise insoluble problems, big and small. I'll probably carry forward her message of trying to mentally press 'ctrl-alt-delete' or 'reboot' in order to approach both the unique and typical obstacles of life anew. Good and worthwhile read.

  • Catie Sahadath
    2019-01-23 22:26

    I was apprehensive about reading this book because, well, I'm not a business person. However, I do love Amanda Lang, so I picked it up. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.The writing style makes this book accessible for all walks of folks. Lang makes her points using colloquial language, and illustrates them with anecdotes. It is also not preachy, and does not offer advice per se, so as a reader I never felt talked down to.

  • Meg
    2019-02-16 04:17

    If this was one of the first business/leadership/motivational books I had read, it would have blown my mind. I've read dozens upon dozens of these types of books, so I recognize many of the stories she tells (Time Warner AOL merger, Four Seasons). I did enjoy a section about collaboration and how a clear objective keeps everyone (mostly) in sync, and that Canadians are generally too polite in this type of process.

  • Ehbooklover
    2019-01-26 01:33

    3.5 stars. I’ll admit that I didn’t have very high expectations when I picked up this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Lang is a great writer and kept me invested in what could have been a very dry topic by loading her book with lots of relevant and interesting professional and personal examples of innovation. A great read chock full of insights that can be applied to both work and personal life.

  • Serena
    2019-01-26 05:20

    It was an incredibly informative book. As a Canadian I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to advance in any areas of their life whether it be personal or business. This book does reflect mainly on innovative businesses but the underlying concepts can be used by anyone.