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Black box thinking: the surprising truth about success (and why some people never learn from their mistakes)

Black box thinking: the surprising truth about success (and why some people never learn from their mistakes)

Syed, Matthew, author

How many of us, hand on heart, can say that we have 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 organisations. It also reveals the dangers of failing to learn from mistakes

Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: John Murray, 2015
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  • Stroud – Earliest copy due back 14th February

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    9935102718 Psychology 158.1 Adult Non-Fiction Due back 14th February


Statement of responsibility: Matthew Syed
ISBN: 1473613779, 9781473613775
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 344 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 24 cm
Subject: Success.; Failure (Psychology); Psychology.

Author note

Matthew Syed is a leading columnist and feature writer for The Times . He makes authored features for the BBC current affairs programme Newsnight and regularly appears on CNN International and World Service TV. Matthew graduated from Oxford University with a prize winning First in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Before becoming a writer Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade, three times Commonwealth Champion, and he twice represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

Matthew Syed's first book, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice , was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and became a UK best-seller.


An extraordinary, inspirational book which reveals how great performers and teams are driven by an insatiable curiosity for marginal gains, together with the intellectual courage to challenge their most cherished assumptions
Dave Brailsford, General Manager, Team Sky||Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embrace
JAMES DYSON, DESIGNER, INVENTOR & ENTREPRENEUR||Matthew Syed has issued a stirring call to revolutionise how we think about success -- by changing our attitude to failure. Failure shouldn't be shameful and stigmatising, but exciting and enlightening. Full of well-crafted stories and keenly deployed scientific insights, BLACK BOX THINKING will forever change the way you think about screwing up
DANIEL PINK, AUTHOR OF DRIVE & TO SELL IS HUMAN||Retrieval was Matthew Syed's forte when he was England's number one table tennis player. You couldn't get anything past him. And retrieval is the subject of this extraordinarily wide-ranging book. Retrieval of hope, retrieval of experience - not just a true sportsman's determination to retrieve success from the lessons of failure, but a true humanitarian's too. A book that dares us to do better
HOWARD JACOBSON, WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE||Excellent . . . Together with his pervious book it adds up to a persuasive account of human accomplishment . . . This book is a sustained argument about the damage done by the growth of blame culture in Britain and America . . . Syed's lively book is a powerful warning of the damage such a culture can do.
The Times