“Loy Machedo’s Book Review – The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Award Winning Author (recipient of George Polk & team finalist for the 2009 Pulitizer Prize) Charles Duhigg writes an Engaging, Entertaining and Explosive book that summarizes the thoughts of over 300 scientists and executives from the fields of social psychology, clinical psychology and neuroscience to crack the code on something we are addicted to – The Power of Habit.
The compelling stories he presents to make his case are:
• How and why Target can tell which of its female customers are pregnant, even before they have told their friends and family;
• How Rick Warren went from a depressed minister of a small congregation to the leader of one of the biggest mega-churches in the world;
• Why Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat started a movement when similar refusals by others had not;
• Why a 1987 fire in a London Underground station failed to be contained, leading to the deaths of 31 people.
• What Michael Phelps did that helped him win the 8 Gold Medals – even on the day of the race when his goggles got filled with moisture and he could not see anything
• What incredible thing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz did for his company
• What National Football League Coach Tony Dungy changed to turn around the fortunes of a dying team
• How Procter & Gamble’s Febreze failed and then became a success story.
• How the Rhode Island Hospital changed a culture completely after one of its doctors ignorance resulted in a patients death.
• How Paul O’Neil of the Aluminum Company of America confused and quizzed the world by transforming a loss incurring company to a mega profitable organization by doing the unthinkable – Changing the habits by focusing on worker safety.
Finally, he gives us a contrast between two stories, one of man who killed his wife while sleepwalking; the other of a woman who became addicted to gambling -- and how jurors ultimately found the man innocent and the woman guilty -- and why. Those two stories are the bottom line on the book -- what you can change, and what you cannot.
Duhigg reminds us that business processes and routines are nothing more than habits practiced on an organization-wide scale. If you can get your kids to brush their teeth every night, you can get your employees to provide great customer service and you can change and transform any habit you are addicted to.
This is indeed a book that deserves a standing ovation for it Brilliance, Beauty and Boldness. I loved it! If you liked Freaknomics (Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner), Blink, The Outliners, What the Dog Saw & Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell), then this is a book you must read.
10 out of 10.