We’ve kicked off book number 4 in our book club and it is poised to be one of the most popular ones so far.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most popular books of the last decade. I read the book a few years ago and I loved it.
The book proposes the idea that when you become an expert at something, a true deep knowledge expert, you can react to situations without thinking; hence the subtitle “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.”
Thinking without thinking is part of the result of an action we all do, known as Thin Slicing. Thin slicing is the judgment we make based on our first impression of something and the more you’re familiar with the subtle cues of a situation, the better you become at thin slicing.
My experience with thin slicing
I’ve personally have experienced this “Thinking Without Thinking” in my work and a few parts of life. I remember countless times when I was working in IT and a problem would come up that the senior staff couldn’t figure out.
Third party vendors would come in and for days they would work on a problem. And then after exhausting their options, the management would “run it by me” and I could tell them exactly what the problem was and how to fix it just by the way they described the problem. I was often right.
These solutions often came to me because I would spend hours and hours tinkering with the servers and the computers and the network. I was the first one in, and the last one out, often working in the weekends.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking should be in your list of books you’ve read and studied. You’re invited to join us for the meeting and discussions. We meet over lunch every Wednesday. You can find the details of the meeting on our meetup page here.
The book talks about business, psychology, relationships and how people thin slice even without being able to explain how they do it. It’s a fascinating read and by most accounts from our members in the book club, it’s one of the best books so far. We’re into week 2 now, but a couple members are almost finished with it.
From Malcom’s own website:
In his landmark bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of “blink”: the election of Warren Harding; “New Coke”; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren’t those who process the most.
Our book club is unlike any other, we meet for lunch and last week we had pizza from the new Fresh Brothers join at the Market place. Awesome pizza, a bit pricey but so good! Hope to see you there next time.