Breaking through when stuck
First up, who's Adam Alter? A professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Alter also wrote 'Drunk Tank Pink.' Ring a bell?
He was also the pen behind 'Irresistible'. Alter has written books about how humans respond to the environment. In 'Anatomy of a Breakthrough' he has mailed a very catchy title and pulled some strong punches.
Here are our five Bookstrapping insights:
1. We have all felt 'stuck' at times. Alter has a chapter with 100 tips on how to move ahead from being 'stuck'. Fun!
2. I made a few notes of creative 'recipes' I could use for myself as I read the book. For eg; surround yourself with people—or bots and AI engines—that don’t see the world the way you do.
3. The part where he explains that 'If we expect things to stay as they are, we’re poorly prepared to act when we find ourselves stuck. Hence, the first step in managing change is to anticipate it and prepare for it rather than experiencing each new instance as a fresh shock.'
4. The road to breakthroughs is a series of Zen paradoxes, says the book. One of Alter's favourites is the idea that pausing is the best way to move forward in the long run. Wow!
5. Adam Alter has spent the past two decades studying how people become stuck and how they free themselves to thrive. If you're someone who is just generally interested in the psychology of breakthroughs, you may enjoy the historical facts and anecdotes peppered all over the book.
Here's my favourite. In the late 1980s, Andre Agassi lost his first three matches against Boris Becker, a young player with a service motion the world had never seen before. During their fourth match, Agassi stared closely at Becker as he served, sacrificing a couple of points in pursuit of an edge. By slowing down, he discovered that Becker’s tongue flicked out of his mouth in the direction he planned to serve, and so Agassi went on to dominate Becker’s serve and win nine of the next eleven matches they played against one another.
Pause to win.
Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta is a columnist and bestselling biographer. She is credited with the internationally acclaimed Red Dot Experiment, a decadal six-nation study on how ‘culture impacts communication.’