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The Power Of Why [Hardcover]

Amanda Lang
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.99
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Book Description

Oct. 9 2012
What can you learn from a toddler?
Why are some people able to get so much done in so little time?
How do certain companies flourish in tough times while others fail?
Are innovators born or made?

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 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 wash their hands less. 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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Power Of Why + Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking + Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.74

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"The Power of Why changes the way you think. It gives you a new perspective, one that leads to positive change. This is a truly great book."—David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns

"Packed with insights, analysis, and examples drawn from a wide range of individuals and companies, The Power of Why will convince readers of the profound value of the spirit of curiosity."—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

"There are books filled with anecdotes about innovation or you can read academic theories about innovation. Neither get you very far. What Amanda has done is offer interesting stories that are linked together in a way that teaches us the theories and just how to innovate."—Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of How Will You Measure Your Life

"The ability of a company to innovate is critical for survival let alone growth and The Power of Why provides great insights into how individuals can transform organizations and industries. A great read on how to find success."—Gordon M. Nixon, President and CEO, RBC

"It is standard fare for political and economic commentators to bemoan Canada’s lack of innovation and productivity. It is also standard fare that they rarely provide answers beyond their statement of concern. Amanda Lang has done much more than that. Her insight into what sparks curiosity and how it is the foundation of innovation and improved productivity should give pause for thought to all of those whose interests run the range from early learning to venture capital. The Power of Why shows us a way to a higher quality of life and to a stronger economy."—The Right Honourable Paul Martin

"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."—Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News

"The Power of Why is a compelling and superbly written book showing how Canada can and must support creativity, starting in our schools, to fuel innovation and positive change."—David Miller, former mayor of Toronto

"A wonderful book, The Power of Why demystifies the tricky subject of innovation. It is a must-read for all innovation policy types and every budding innovator."—Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

About the Author

AMANDA LANG is the co-host of The Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC and the senior business correspondent for CBC News. She studied architecture at the University of Manitoba before turning to journalism, serving first with the Financial Post and eventually becoming their New York correspondent. A popular speaker on the topics of business and economic trends, she lives in Toronto.


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Oct. 12 2012
I recently finished this book and thought it was one of the best books on business I've read in a long time. Much like Freakonomics, but focused on business this book is separated into short sections on different experiments, inventions, and stories that all have a common theme, the power of curiosity. The moment you pick up the book and start reading you'll be hooked, and each story builds onto the last one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Freakonomics or other business related books and thought it was one of the best written books on business in a long time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Curiosity to Enrich Our Lives Nov. 4 2012
By G. Parr
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
“The Power of Why” is a fascinating book! Amanda Lang has brought together many interesting stories of entrepreneurs, their "aha!" moments, and what we can learn from them. As well, she shares some of her personal experiences to show how intelligent curiosity can enrich our lives. After reading the book, I have already found myself asking more questions, paying closer attention to how things work, and making new connections. It's opened my mind to new possibilities…even made me feel a bit more creative. These effects were a complete surprise -- and pretty cool.

“The Power of Why” is entertaining, important, and useful all at once. It's a joy to read, and I highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth! Feb. 24 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amanda Lang is definately on the right track that human nature requires an inquisitive mind in order to "invent" and move forward and as Ken Robinson says schools are killing our childrens creativty.

This book however is a collection of examples without specific indepth links back to how the company's went from their questioning to improving and inventing stages. She has followed a logical sequence from questioning through to inventing, but without engaging me.

The Canadian Tire example was probably the most detailed. But for instance the invention of Saw Stop lacked enough depth to inspire me.

The book has the format I just feel as though the author did not engage in her subject enough to make me interested in changing my habits to become more creative. Pity really because it could have and should have.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, fun read Oct. 20 2012
Really interesting and lively stories about different inventors and business types whose paths all started with simple questions, like, Why can't a power saw stop before it cuts your finger off? Made me think all my "stupid" questions could have made me a millionaire, if only I'd tried to answer them! Best part of the book for me was the chapter on curiosity, and why kids have it naturally but adults don't. Really good suggestions there for parents and teachers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Why - the Clue to Innovation Dec 15 2012
The Power of Why goes against the norm. Author Amanda Lang encourages the reader to question why and how. To think outside the box. To think laterally. The chapter on working as a team and the mentality of an employee who feels valued really struck me. I recommended this book at work as an essential read for all employees. The Power of Why could be an amazing tool in building a team with common aspirations and a mindset in which they acknowledge their role as valued, as an important member of a team.

Highly recommended whether you are a parent, an employee, an entrepreneur (especially!), a manager. Whatever your role, The Power of Why is enlightening!

Read my full review here: [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars repetition March 14 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found that this book was constantly repeating itself. At least the examples are interesting, but I could not make it to the end.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Education in the real world Dec 5 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an educator, I found the book very informing and practical. The way Amanda wrote about the curiosity and learning of children showed an educational model of the Assessment for, as and of learning. Thank you for reaffirming they way I teach my class.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and educational Feb. 3 2014
Amanda Lang has written a pretty good. Think Malcolm Gladwell with a little more implementation advice. This book tries to make innovation, admittedly a buzzword which may be losing its power, accessible to the layperson. That is pretty much what is accomplished here. Along the way, there are plenty of stories about innovators which should help to keep any reader engaged. Lang has a few points which she hammers home, one of which is clear from her title. Too many of us are afraid to ask questions about why something is done the way it is, either in our personal lives or in our workplaces. And we certainly aren't persistent about following those questions to their conclusion when they do come up.

This isn't an earth-shattering book, these books rarely are, but it just might get you psyched up to start thinking about your life in more innovative ways. After all, as Lang makes clear, anybody can do it, if you take the time to learn how.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read filled with well presented conclusions.
I really enjoyed the book and will likely read again in 6 months as a check to see if I have progressed in the areas the book drew me to. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jim Setla
5.0 out of 5 stars good book for partents and young people
This was a great book. and easy read. Amanda give examples in business and then also relates the point to daily life. Lots of good advice and things to think about.
Published 6 months ago by Mary Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and thought provoking book from a Canadian...
I learned about this book from a coworker who suggested to me. I am glad I took her suggestion. It was really enjoyable read, with several samples on innovation, research and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jose Davila
5.0 out of 5 stars ++



Published 8 months ago by William MacDonnell
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
this book makes you want to go back and have a do over but with the insight this book gives you
Published 8 months ago by Frauke Ahrens
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book on innovation
I enjoyed this book. It's full of interesting stories about people or companies who innovate, as well as stories on companies who failed to innovate. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hobbyist woodworker
5.0 out of 5 stars Logical thinking at its finest.
I love a readable book like this that displays linear thinking and spot-on conclusions. This will give most readers a new perspective on things we take for granted - such as the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by David Napper
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not?
I was curious when I saw this book sitting on a shelf of the bookstore I had been wondering through for the last hour. I was worried it would bore me but felt compelled to buy it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Lori Merchant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about - well "Why" and embrace the question and you will be...
Great book about - well "Why" and embrace the question and you will be surprise at the results / answers
Published 16 months ago by Believe and Achieve
5.0 out of 5 stars This will wake up and legitimize your creative thinking and your...
Invaluable to start thinking outside the box - and to legitimize that inner child's brimming endless curiosity. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Joseph F. Michel
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