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Reactions to “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A well-done version of the airport-bookshop pop-psychology/business genre. Peppered with sensible sound bites for the casual reader; backed up by just enough references to research to seem credible to someone who might want to dig deeper.

The initial third is especially good. It covers the basis of individual-level habits: how they’re established and how they can be redirected. Useful if you want to understand your own habits or how to work with others’, such as in product design or marketing.

The middle bit starts to veer off track – Duhigg tries too hard to extrapolate individual habits to “organizational” – but it’s still good and worth reading if you care about group or business dynamics.

You can safely skip the last quarter, which feels like either he or his editor ran out of time. Rambling and undirected discursion that seems to be trying to get philosophical about whether people should be held accountable for their habits. It’s not clear.

But if you think you might have some interest in the subject, the earlier bits are worth the price of admission.

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