Black Box Thinking

  • by Matthew Syed
  • Narrated by Simon Slater
  • 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When was the last time you experienced a sense of failure? Did you brush it off, or allow it to knock you down? Or did you use it as an opportunity to learn and grow?
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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Callum

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.
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- Kenny Marshall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-09-2015
  • Publisher: John Murray