This is not an academic book. Nonetheless, all should read it, if for no other reason then simply in order to learn why having a broad-based knowledge and curiosity are essential attributes of a person living in the post-modern world.
The pattern of the book is not terribly innovative: good ideas followed by the expected examples of how sterling men and women implemented these concepts in practice and attained an even more sterling level of success. Altogether, very much in style of all other books aimed at predominantly business-oriented readers who, for whatever reason, need the examples set by (successful) luminaries in order to be converted to the creed. A more demanding reader may, upon seeing the same "follow the banality" pattern, reject the little volume as another horrid, trivial, and profoundly intellectually boring "thing." Do NOT do that: it would be a major mistake, and you would miss on a number of really important thoughts.
The book has a powerful message to all members of the academe, corporate executives, human resources operators and gurus. And practically, everyone else, including high school and university students. It should also be one of the most recommended self-help books for all university leaders guilty of having produced more than three generations of super-specialized graduates with very sketchy ideas about the world outside their own field of work. Reading one of the book's chapters every morning before going to work (best over morning coffee, and instead of the sports or cooking page) should be the compulsory task for all human resources executives that may clear their persistent misconception of a "well-defined" (1.e., narrowly specialized) professional path as a clear sign of intellectual prowess and the concomitant ability to create and lead.
For the first time in many, many years an author embarked upon the quest of promoting the concept of a generalist as the pillar of creativity, arguing that broad education and intellectual curiosity, combined with open mind and acceptance of diversity, not as a politically correct and entirely meaningless term, but as the essential constituent of life, are the critical prerogatives for breakthrough innovation. Johansson took upon himself the task of demonstrating the almost desperate need for the return to what universities have largely abandoned: development of minds equipped with broad multi-disciplinary knowledge, and capable of multi-spectral intellectual curiosity and insight instead of the vigorous mass production of bachelor, master, and doctor experts in extraordinarily narrow (to the point of ridicule) sub-fragments of their disciplines of choice.
Indeed, this is not an "academic" book, and maybe it is extraordinarily good that it is so: free from our often irritating academic stuffiness, the book speaks to any reader, independently of his/her level of formal education. It also quite poignantly exposes the deficiencies of today's academic training that often fails to endow graduates with the gift of non-dogmatic and broadely educated mind.
The "Medici Effect" should be read widely, and the underlying notions should be accepted and promoted with persistence. It is a book to which all should return when satisfaction with the currently accepted credo, and the often trivial progress that such dogma typically imposees, become the most attractive attributes of their professional lives.