What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google?
What links Dave Brailsford’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.
US edition (get on Amazon)
Click here to learn more about Matthew’s new book Black Box Thinking
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
(US, UK and other International editions of Bounce are identical except for minor spelling and stylistic changes)
Freakonomics explained how we get what we want
and what we need
Predictably Irrational exposed the hidden factors
controlling our behaviour
Bounce transforms our understanding of competition
– and who we are
Just what does it take to be the best? Matthew Syed uncovers the “hidden logic of success” behind the careers of world-beaters from David Beckham and Serena Williams to Mozart and Picasso.
Along the way Matthew explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work and will. From sex to maths, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.
Questions answered by Bounce include:
- Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100m in under ten seconds been black?
- Is it good to praise a child’s intelligence?
- Why are sportsmen so superstitious?
Praise for Bounce
A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer.
OWEN SLOT, THE TIMES
A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.
MICHAEL ATHERTON, FORMER ENGLAND CRICKET CAPTAIN AND AWARD-WINNING WRITER
Insightful and entertaining, Syed takes us a step deeper into the world of sports, showing us how much we can learn about our own behaviour.
DAN ARIELY, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL
I love this book. It is a must read if you have ever wondered what sets the super achievers and the rest of us apart, in any field not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was 15.
GABBY LOGAN, BBC TV PRESENTER AND FORMER INTERNATIONAL GYMNAST
A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late. There are no excuses!
MARK THOMAS, PROFESSOR OF EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS AND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer…. In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent – the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.
HOWARD JACOBSEN, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF KALOOKI NIGHTS
Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke… challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.
JONATHAN EDWARDS, TRIPLE JUMP WORLD RECORD HOLDER AND OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST
Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond.
MICHAEL SHERWOOD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, GOLDMAN SACHS INTERNATIONAL
When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)… It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and… extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.
Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading.
LYNNE TRUSS, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF EATS, SHOOTS AND LEAVES
Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one.