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Nobody wants to fail. But in highly complex organizations, success can happen only when we confront our mistakes, learn from our own version of a black box, and create a climate where it’s safe to fail. We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it’s underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences. Consider the shocking fact that preventable medical error is the third-biggest killer in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths every year. More people die from mistakes made by doctors and hospitals than from traffic accidents. And most of those mistakes are never made public, because of malpractice settlements with nondisclosure clauses. For a dramatically different approach to failure, look at aviation. Every passenger aircraft in the world is equipped with an almost indestructible black box. Whenever there’s any sort of mishap, major or minor, the box is opened, the data is analyzed, and experts figure out exactly what went wrong. Then the facts are published and procedures are changed, so that the same mistakes won’t happen again. By applying this method in recent decades, the industry has created an astonishingly good safety record. Few of us put lives at risk in our daily work as surgeons and pilots do, but we all have a strong interest in avoiding predictable and preventable errors. So why don’t we all embrace the aviation approach to failure rather than the health-care approach? As Matthew Syed shows in this eye-opening book, the answer is rooted in human psychology and organizational culture. Syed argues that the most important determinant of success in any field is an acknowledgment of failure and a willingness to engage with it. Yet most of us are stuck in a relationship with failure that impedes progress, halts innovation, and damages our careers and personal lives. We rarely acknowledge or learn from failure—even though we often claim the opposite. We think we have 20/20 hindsight, but our vision is usually fuzzy. Syed draws on a wide range of sources—from anthropology and psychology to history and complexity theory—to explore the subtle but predictable patterns of human error and our defensive responses to error. He also shares fascinating stories of individuals and organizations that have successfully embraced a black box approach to improvement, such as David Beckham, the Mercedes F1 team, and Dropbox.
The Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller From the Bestselling Author of Bounce What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Team Sky and the aviation industry? What connects James Dyson and David Beckham? They are all Black Box Thinkers. Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us. Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens - and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.
"The pursuit of science by professional scientists every day bears less and less resemblance to the perception of science by the general public. It is not the rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts that dominates the public view. Rather it is the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in mostly uncharted places. It is full of wrong turns, cul-de-sacs, mistaken identities, false findings, errors of fact and judgment-and the occasional remarkable success. The widespread but distorted view of science as infallible originates in an education system that teaches nothing but facts using very large, very frightening textbooks, and is spread by media that report on discoveries but almost never on process. It is further reinforced by politicians who pay for it and want to use it to determine policy and therefore want it right and, worst of all, sometimes by scientists who learn early on that talking too much about failures and not enough about successes can harm their careers. Failure, then, is a book that seeks to make science more appealing by exposing its faults. In this sequel to Ignorance, Stuart Firestein shows us that scientific enterprise is riddled with failures, and that this is not only necessary but good. Failure reveals how science got its start, when humans began to use a process-trial and error-as a kind of recipe that includes a hefty dose of failure. It gives the non-scientifically trained public an insider's view of how science is actually done, with the aim of making it accessible, comprehensible, and entertaining."--Publisher description.
In the vein of the international bestselling Freakonomics, award-winning journalist Matthew Syed reveals the hidden clues to success—in sports, business, school, and just about anything else that you’d want to be great at. Fans of Predictably Irrational and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point will find many interesting and helpful insights in Bounce.
From the man the Wall Street Journal describes as a 'global change guru', more than one hundred of the trends that touch every aspect of our lives. Patrick Dixon looks at how the future will be Fast, Urban, Tribal, Universal, Radical and Ethical - a future of boom and bust and great economic change as the emerging markets grow up; a future of great advances in medicine and also greater threats from viral epidemics; a future of political shocks and greater conflicts; a future in which people will strive for more privacy and businesses will change the way they relate to their staff and their customers; a future in which there will be driverless cars and solar power generated in the desert will power cities thousands of miles away. In short, with great perception and insight, Patrick Dixon highlights the risks that a future-proof business needs to be aware of, and what to prepare for if it is to prosper and survive in a world where customers and markets, politics and demographics, technology and skills, and opportunities and choices will be very different.
The author, a conservative Republican, examines why America is losing the war on drugs-and makes a case for controlled legalization.
YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE SELF-HELP BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON'T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT. In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before. By the end of You Are a Badass, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

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