Columnist for The Times and best-selling author of Bounce: The myth of talent and the power of practice, Matthew Syed argues that the key to success is a positive attitude to failure.
What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Dave Braisford's Team Sky and the aviation industry? What is the connection between the inventor James Dyson and the footballer David Beckham? They are all Black Box Thinkers.
Whether developing a new product, honing a core skill or just trying to get a critical decision right, Black Box Thinkers aren't afraid to face up to mistakes. In fact, they see failure as the very best way to learn. Rather than denying their mistakes, blaming others or attempting to spin their way out of trouble, these institutions and individuals interrogate errors as part of their future strategy for success.
How many of us, hand on heart, can say that we have such a healthy relationship with failure? Learning from failure has the status of a cliché, but this book reveals the astonishing story behind the most powerful method of learning known to mankind, and reveals the arsenal of techniques wielded by some of the world's most innovative organizations.
Their lessons can be applied across every field - from sport to education, from business to health. Using gripping case studies, exclusive interviews and really practical takeaways, Matthew Syed - the award-winning journalist and best-selling author of Bounce - explains how to turn failure into success, and shows us how we can all become better Black Box Thinkers.
©2015 Matthew Syed (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
They have very important true case examples that made very large impact to many people. Case studies of difference working and thinking cultures, such as aviation, health system and economy.
A gave only 4 (of 5) starts to the narrator. He has very pleasant English dialect and he is not boring to listen to, but sometimes it appears he has hard times breathing... :-) but he is mostly fine.
Chapter 10 is excellent ... shows how creativity can arise from mistakes and iterative learning. Chapter 1 and other live examples, depict how important is to learn mistakes. Maybe one of the best scene is showing two groups of researches and developers of a product: one are group of experts that attack the problem from scientific designated point of view, attempting to optimize the product by means of mathematics, physics and flow. The other group know nothing of all these science, but they work in the same way evolution works: they try by means of trial and error many different variations of the product, and consider only those with any small improvements. Then they iterate further from these, and with each generation of products the final results become better. They produced excellent product (that the group of experts failed to do), after 400 something trials and errors...
I am a 'natural born' scientist, ever critical and curious by why things are as they are. Maybe the most important thing I learned is to let go of devilish details sometimes, release products, articles and project with maybe flaws, but let other evaluate them, and learn to improve these from the feedback. Feedback is a key ingredient for success, yet, we forget sometimes to make the best out of the feedback we get. Moreover, not always we want to hear negative feedback because it may (and usually is) compromise our work and philosophies we worked so hard to achieve. However, by learning from critique and feedback, we almost always produce better results by large margines. By all means, stop being perfectionist because nothing is perfect, but accept that what we develop have flaws. The art is to learn from these flaws to improve.
It is important to remember that although when we start to read the book, we understand the main message: learn from failures. But few of us really understand the depths and what we can achieve by doing so. I heard by father dozens of times back in my teen days to learn from mistakes, and I mostly tended to ignore him, not really understanding what it means. This book does just that: by a serious of (many) examples, all real, show you how important and how you can use it for your benefit. Highly Recommended!
I absolutely loved the book. It's interesting, applicable, and very well written. The only downside was that the narrator was breathy and made so many mouth noises. It was incredibly distracting.
"Insightful, entertaining and informative"
Absolutely. It's well written, captivating, full of insight and is very persuasive. Writer clearly is passionate about his theories. Well worth reading. Thought provoking.
Narrated with the right amount of enthusiasm and without monotone. Get a real sense of interest from him as it piques your own interest too.
Mainly this book made me pensive. However I do find myself using a lot of the knowledge I've gained from it as part of the way I now approach my daily life. It really has changed my outlook on things. I think it's an improvement on bounce which was itself a very interesting read.
Well worth reading more than once. Picked up many things second time round that I missed to begin with.
"A simply concept brought to life brilliantly"
Up there as one of the best books I have listened too Mathew Syed has picked up on a great concept that he has explored in a great way.
The book flows well and the ideas and concepts are brilliantly simple yet I have not heard or read anyone tackle them as M Syed has here
The clarity of the ideas and the way they are put over
"Truly brilliant. Should be mandatory reading"
Thoughtful, insightful, compelling and incredibly important, this is a real page turner of a book which kept me glued to my headphones for hours on end. If I were King of the World I would make this mandatory reading in all schools and social institutes, not just because it's a great read but because the information within should shape our future.
"Brilliant, Informative, Challenging. A must read!"
Galileo - although we were only given a taster of the man, his conviction to stand up for his beliefs in a time where cognitive dissonance was in plague proportions.
No, So much valuable information needs to be taken in bite sizes.
I plan to read this book again. A must for anyone working in the medical industry.
"Simple, informative and bursting with ‘scribble th"
Yes, it is one of those books you'll come back to, to remind yourself of things.
Not applicable, seriously audible, this generic form does not work. Listen to the Black Box Thinking book and then TAKE ACTION!
I've not, yet, I have just bought one though.
None of the above, don't be silly.
Stay strong during the first 9 minutes of chapter one, do, as I was, be tempted to stop listening and go back to your Archers podcast. As the campaigns says It Gets Better.
I am just starting chapter four and already this book has been worth the money / credit. Even if the rest of the book turned out to be Winnie the Pooh singing along to ABBA this book would have been worth it. Three chapters in and I’ve got a page of notes for both my professional and my personal life.
I can happily recommend this book, it’s one that I can see myself listening to repeatedly over the coming months / years. (Less than a week after buying Black Box Thinking, I’ve logged on to Audible to buy his other book Bounce.)
I found the subject and insight offered by this work to be transformative to my work and state of mind. The reading is understated and allows Matthew Syed's illuminating prose and ideas to take centre stage. 'Learning from failure' could be a cliched management sound bite, but it is presented by Mr Syed with effortless logic that never preaches and a wealth of examples that keep momentum and interest from start to finish. The content retains relevance by connecting to currently popular business themes of 'mindfulness' and 'iterative design' with a regular historical glances backwards and forwards. The way in which ideas are communicated with relevance and a continuing narrative meant I listened to it twice over. It is often said, but this book is changing my view of the world.
"The one book"
After looking and listening to countless books to get a sense of direction - which mind you they tend to be full of jargon - i wasnt expecting this book to be in anyway good, heck i even came across it several times and rejected.. but decided to give a go and well i was suprised to say the least. I still feel it has quite a bit of examples and maybe a bit too much wording but at the end of each chapter i get what i want:
A concrete direction and solution to something - not just a formless cloudy idea that will make you more confused
Not sure about a particular moment but i will definetly go for the message:
build from past mistakes, be open and be modest (you need to know when to quit too) - think of life as it is - like a life form and evole like one
"Really, really interedting"
Really interesting concepts discussed and brought to life with real case studies. The first chapter wasn't a pleasant read, but that was just because of the nature of the story being told.
Before I had finished this book I has already ordered the author's other book, Bounce.
"Great book with challenging counter-intuitive content"
Really enjoyed listening to this book. First story made me cry a bit, gave me some significant things to think about about myself and approach. Helpful for both work and personal life.
"very interesting and mind changing"
I loved this book and the ideology it brings forth in a very clear, simple and fast flowing way. I was hesitating before I began because of some reviews stating a slow and difficult first three chapters. I did not experiance the book like that, I got suck into the story right away. I have already changed few things in my personal way of looking at things and how to respond to "failures" both my own and those of my loved ones. It will be harder to implement at my office but I will strive to do just that though.
I do also expect to listen to the whole book again this year to freshen myself up on the whole message it brings.
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