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Upstream

How to Solve Problems Before They Happen
By: Dan Heath
Narrated by: Dan Heath
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.50

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

New York Times best-selling author Dan Heath asks what happens when we take our thinking upstream and try to prevent problems before they happen.

We all have a tendency to work around problems. We are resourceful. We improvise. We’re so accustomed to managing emergencies as they strike that we often don’t stop to think about how we could prevent crises before they happen. Why 'solve' crimes when we could stop them being committed? Why treat chronic diseases when they could be prevented from developing? Why provide shelter for the homeless rather than working to keep people housed in the first place? Why do our efforts skew so heavily towards reaction rather than prevention? 

The notion of preventing problems is an evergreen need in our professional and daily lives. Which makes Upstream a book for skeptical optimists - across all sectors - who know it's not going to be easy, but who believe that we have the capacity to solve some of our thorniest issues, if only we start to think about the system rather than the symptoms. Drawing on insights from Dan Heath's extensive research, as well as hundreds of new interviews with unconventional problem solvers, he delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than simply reacting to them.

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©2020 Dan Heath (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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    2 out of 5 stars

The Socialist Manifesto?

Overall I enjoyed the book and the forward thinking that it promotes. However, some of the political implications are not sufficiently discussed, nor the dangers that may await us by adapting a more "upstream" approach.

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  • Maeve
  • 18-09-2020

👍

So many sub-stories that I want to return back to that I had to buy the book too!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-09-2020

would recommend

interesting book gave me ideas for some new projects at work. worth reading to take a step back and see things from another angle. case studies were interesting and almost all were new to me.

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  • SteveN
  • 01-08-2020

Insightful and Practical

The potential benefits offerd from the teachings in this book are huge, to be able to prevent rather than cure is not a new revelation but it is a lesson that the 'instant gratification' generations should learn and apply.

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  • Ismael Gutierrez
  • 14-06-2020

Insightful

This book is essentially about the unfair appraisal we all have for upstream and downstream work. Whilst the book relies too heavily on the same "example of success - Lesson" model, it is a very good defence of the importance of prevention and proactive attitudes at the office and at home.

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  • Ali
  • 18-05-2020

Change starts with study

Just finished reading “Upstream” by @danheath. I have to say I did enjoy the book, my view would be that the system needs to shift its perspective to an outside in as a system view and those measures of learning should be looked at overtime in capability charts to allow for effective learning. For me the book had some useful ways to tactics and with the knowledge of John Seddon’s work of how to study, and change a system they could come in very handy but also equally as dangerous if the right mindset is not applied. Systems and sub systems services exist because customer see how they create value in their lives. Upstream thinking will help you question and understand what is real value as defined by the arbiter, the customer. The only question left is as Deming would say “by what method”. Our view would be study your organisation as a system, gaining knowledge and understanding of how, how well and why only so well in a systematic manner. Doing so will ensure you understand what needs to be given up and why in order systemic change to be effective.