The Power Of Why

Hardcover | October 9, 2012

byAmanda Lang

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Why are some people able to get so much more done in so much less time than others? Why do some companies flourish in tough times while others fail? Why are some countries more productive than others?

Through an entertaining mix of examples from the business world, insights from innovation gurus, little-known research, the experiences of business leaders and her own candid stories of life off-camera, Amanda Lang explains how asking the right questions has changed the world and how it can change you, too. From the invention of the curved shower curtain rod to the introduction of an elevator that creates electricity as it moves from floor to floor, The Power of Why persuasively spells out the connection between innovation and productivity that is so crucial in the knowledge economy.

Instead of obsessing over working “smarter,” we ought to focus on the instinctive urge to question that’s so natural for young children. As Lang shows, it’s possible to reignite that instinct at any age and to become more innovative and productive—as well as more fulfilled in our jobs and happier in our relationships. That’s the power of why.

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From Our Editors

INDIGO SPOTLIGHT: The Power of Why is a wide ranging discussion of curiosity-driven innovation. It's filled with stories, many of them Canadian, about people and companies who recognize limits with the status quo. In stories of cupcakes, power generating soccer balls, and large companies like Lululemon and Canadian Tire, Lang finds pe...

From the Publisher

Why are some people able to get so much more done in so much less time than others? Why do some companies flourish in tough times while others fail? Why are some countries more productive than others?Through an entertaining mix of examples from the business world, insights from innovation gurus, little-known research, the experiences o...

AMANDA LANGis the co-host ofThe Lang & O'Leary Exchangeon CBC and the senior business correspondent for CBC News. She studied architecture at the University of Manitoba before turning to journalism, serving first with theFinancial Postand eventually becoming their New York correspondent. A popular speaker on the topics of business and ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.63 × 1 inPublished:October 9, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443413186

ISBN - 13:9781443413183

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book. Challenges traditional views of innovation. Spoilers can be found. 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; and 7. Innovation is not for everyone.
Date published: 2016-02-28
Rated out of 5 by from Meh. Probably the shallowest cliche ridden uninformative biz books I have read. There is nothing in this book that I found interesting or thoughtful.
Date published: 2013-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoughtful, inspiring, life-affirming I just bought this book as a Christmas present for a friend, having already read through it avidly myself. The author's voice is warm, knowing and quite humourous at times, as she takes the reader through a series of stories, many (but not all) business-related, to illustrate her premise that curiousity - the willingness to look hard at problems and stalemates in all aspects of your life - can open you up to solutions that you didnt know were within your grasp. I found that the tone and content stimulated me to not only think harder about how to approach issues in my life, but also helped me see those issues afresh. There is a wealth of inspiration here that can be brought to bear not only within your own life, but in dealing with others in all of your relationships. Think of it as a how-to book for life (without having to climb to the top of the mountain first). There is also good advice about not sticking your tongue to a metal pole in winter. So, highly recommended in all respects.
Date published: 2012-11-23
Rated out of 5 by from Looking forward to reading this book it at least because of the author's job at the CBC which would make her knowledgeable and which advances her credibility. This book is probably in the same genre of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Date published: 2012-11-02

Extra Content

From Our Editors

INDIGO SPOTLIGHT: The Power of Why is a wide ranging discussion of curiosity-driven innovation. It's filled with stories, many of them Canadian, about people and companies who recognize limits with the status quo. In stories of cupcakes, power generating soccer balls, and large companies like Lululemon and Canadian Tire, Lang finds people who ask "why" again and again. They aren't visionaries, world-changers, or geniuses, but simply curious people who realize that asking the right questions and embracing small, even accidental change, yields huge results.Lang's book is part psychology, part economics, and part sociology; she presents the unorthodox approaches inquisitive people take to everyday and commonplace things. Apparently insurmountable problems, whether tinkering with power saws or changing corporate branding, become intriguing opportunities for change once you begin to ask slightly different questions.Like The Power of Habit and the writings of Malcolm Gladwell, The Power of Why is a sure discussion starter. In a simple and direct style, every page drives home the child-like joys of stepping back, asking new questions, and embracing the power of "why".