Think Again – A Book Club Summary

We enjoyed meeting with everyone who could attend the inaugural A5 Advisory Book Club on May 21st to discuss Think Again by Adam Grant! 

Below is a summary of the ideas that were shared during our time together. We learned a lot from each other and appreciate these insights from each of you.  

Think Again: Why We’re All Cognitively Biased explores the territory of cognitive errors, biases, prejudices and mental blind spots. It discusses how we have a tendency to come up with our own truths regardless of what people tell us or show us if they don’t fit into those preset views that are already formed in our heads from past experiences and knowledge. This leads to poor decision-making when it comes time for making choices as well as inflexibility – where no matter the changes around you or input being given by others; these notions remain fixed at all times which can lead one down an unproductive path without ever opening their minds to other possibilities outside their limited set beliefs. 

  • An alternative view of intelligence – the most intelligent people are willing to rethink what they know and why they believe it to be true. 
  • We play different roles when conversing with others or in our own internal dialogues. 
  • We tend to play the role of PREACHER, PROSECUTOR or POLITICIAN. 
  • The role we need to play is SCIENTIST. Being a Scientist means we must conduct experiments, test hypotheses, be willing to abandon wrong beliefs and embrace new truths. 
  • Overconfidence creates blind spots that affect our ability to Re-Think. Good confidence in ourselves lets us keep our beliefs up-to-date by leaving room for change and adjusting our mindset appropriately.  
  • Being wrong should be seen as a blessing. 
  • Healthy conflict is good and allows us to share “Task Conflicts” and “Relationship Conflicts” that push us forward as a society or team. 
  • Collaborative Approach to thinking utilizes humility and curiosity so we are more likely to think like SCIENTISTS. 
  • Collective Re-Thinking in corporations creates psychological safety which allows people to take risks and spurs innovation. 

Takeaways from the book club session on May 21st: 

  • Mount Stupid – Very knowledgeable and experienced leaders or thinkers that are closed off to new ideas. “arrogance = ignorance + conviction”  
  • Convey credibility through questions you ask. 
  • Appeal to logical self-interest. “What happens 6 months from now if we do that?”  
  • Competent leaders tend to listen to other “perceived” competent leaders. Make introductions within your network, or with clients who can learn from each other. 
  • Have intellectual humility 
  • You should want to be proven wrong at times so that you can progress. 
  • Receiving joy when you are wrong – this is a learning opportunity. 
  • Are we able to recognize intelligence in others? What might we be missing because we believe we are so intelligent, and others are not? 
  • Identity is more about what we value than it is about our opinions or beliefs. 
  • We don’t know why we believe what we believe, and we are often afraid to ask ourselves that question. We will always ask others why they believe something, why not ask ourselves? 
  • Our beliefs are probably much more similar than we know, it’s the approach or application that is the difference. Believe in their “good” and you will end up in a better place. 
  • Too much time is spent on unproductive conversations that never produce a result. Turn these into productive conversations. 
  • You have to understand how other people come to their opinions.  
  • Only say “I understand” when you are absolutely sure you do. Otherwise say, “let me make sure I understand.”  
  • Be a scientist first! 
  • How do you get the most out of these kinds of books? Summarize each chapter in your own words and figure out how you can apply it. 

I hope you enjoyed the book club as much as we did!

Please join us again for the next book club on June 18th as we discuss Curve Benders, by David Nour.  


 To your success!