Impressions on "Black Box Thinking"

A couple of thoughts after finishing this book

Last updated on 1 August 2022. Created on 12 October 2021.

Essentially this book is all about reframing the idea of "failure". How to change your mindset, how to create a proper environment, how to encourage people to speak up and how to use this system to make incremental changes that lead to marginal gains.

It is highly connected with the "Growth Mindset".

One solid thing about this book is that its author, Matthew Syed, manages to tell short stories very convincing. In fact, I think he might just as well be able to create a fiction book with proper storyline, conflict, drama, heightened emotions and all that.

As children, we embrace failure.

Something that is blatantly obvious after someone points it out is that we are not born with this fear of failure. As children, we embrace it. And this is just something that annoys me. The fact that many of us have to invest a lot of time and energy into unlearning this. Myself included.

But I keep my hopes up for the next generations. They should be able to skip this process entirely and grow up in an open environment. Where they understand what failure is part of the progress. And resilience is one of the top qualities one can possess.

Recommended read

While I don't feel it's one of those books that you need to reread every half a year, I still warmly recommend this book.

The stories from different fields make this a compelling read and easier to digest and understand the current status. And I now have a bigger respect towards the aviation industry. While far from perfect, if all other industries would apply similar techniques the entire world would progress much faster.

In this end, this is all there is to it. How to learn new things, faster and cheaper. Why? Because this allows for progress. For new, better ideas, projects, services, products.

What could have the book done better?

I would have liked more insight into how we can work with "Fixed Mindset" people. And not only that, but to make them see our point of view as well. Instead, the book sort of splits everybody into these two categories, highlights the differences and that's it.

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