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Black Box Thinking Audiobook

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (20 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alex Crossley 07/12/2016
    Alex Crossley 07/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perhaps the best non fiction book I've ever read"

    Gripped from the beginning and relevant throughout with brilliant examples. I'm already searching for the next great book that might be able to match this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 03/07/2016
    Daniel 03/07/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perspective Changing Book"

    Some very powerful messages, which can be implemented in all facets of life
    For example, move forward with plausible business ideas before checking if everything will be 'perfect' from day one - failure and adjusting accordingly is part of the journey to ultimate success, rather than an outcome
    One of the best quotes from the book is along the lines of " what you are telling me contains elements of the truth, but is not the whole truth" - particularly relevant when people do not want to accept responsibility, acknowledge errors and look to then improve from those errors (applies to ourselves too)
    Another wonderful business lesson is not to unfairly penalise colleagues / team members nor yourself if a genuine unintentional error occurs in the field - this encourages open discussion on how to improve and challenge the status quo and improve the whole business
    Will listen to this book again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Weir 27/05/2016
    David Weir 27/05/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    Great book. Learning from failure.. Pretty simple but oh so powerful. Can't wait to give it a good try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nadav
    17/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great facinating story, a lot to learn from!"
    What made the experience of listening to Black Box Thinking the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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...


    What did you learn from Black Box Thinking that you would use in your daily life?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marcel Meijer
    Netherlands
    4/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice"

    Nice chain of facts and previous events, followed by hindsight information and analysis. Real eyeopener and great speaker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chisquareatops
    13/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, so-so audio performance"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Callum
    1/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful, entertaining and informative"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable


    What about Simon Slater’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth reading more than once. Picked up many things second time round that I missed to begin with.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Maximus Decimus Meridius
    London
    24/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple, informative and bursting with ‘scribble th"
    Would you listen to Black Box Thinking again? Why?

    Yes, it is one of those books you'll come back to, to remind yourself of things.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable, seriously audible, this generic form does not work. Listen to the Black Box Thinking book and then TAKE ACTION!


    Have you listened to any of Simon Slater’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I've not, yet, I have just bought one though.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    None of the above, don't be silly.


    Any additional comments?

    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.)

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Timothy Barros
    4/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The one book"
    What made the experience of listening to Black Box Thinking the most enjoyable?

    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


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Black Box Thinking?

    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


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • J M PETERS
    24/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Finnur
    23/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Kenny Marshall
    Glasgow
    9/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book about learning from mistakes"

    Lots of critical life and death real life examples. It's a very enjoyable listen and challenged my thought processes. However, I was expecting some more ideas on what approaches can be used to encourage people to learn from mistakes and how to move current thinking forward.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Natalie
    8/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, Informative, Challenging. A must read!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, So much valuable information needs to be taken in bite sizes.


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to read this book again. A must for anyone working in the medical industry.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Margarita Millere
    1/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book to understand importance of mistakes"
    Any additional comments?

    It's a great book, which helps to understand importance of making mistakes and learning from them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M. E. Gideon
    England
    17/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to learn from failure"

    An interesting study in approaches that yield continuous improvements and the systematic and cultural norms that prevent it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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