Book Reviews: Black Box Thinking


“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What are the two things that all successful women and men have in abundance? Ideas and perseverance by the bucket load.

When you’re considered the best in class and you hit a brick wall it takes a little more than doing what you’ve always done to cross the finish line. The idea of marginal gains is at a first a foreign one especially for the more recent generations – the Millennials and Generation Z.

In a world where everything is geared toward instant gratification Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed takes us back to the basics. The idea od marginal gains requires that one demonstrates superior levels of patience, as does the concept of Black Box Thinking.

When a tragic plane crash occurs it takes patiently scouring through heaps of debris and analysing mounts of black box data in order to piece together a full picture of events in chronological order.

The idea of painstakingly analysing plane crashes is not to point the finger of blame but rather to point in a direction that may bring about change. It’s all about making sure that we don’t repeat our errors. When there are hundreds of lives on the line the stakes are as high as could be and that requires thinking outside the box.

These very same ideas practised in industries such as aviation, formula one and competitive cycling could be introduced into different fields. Join Matthew Syed in Black Box Thinking as he takes you through various different tragedies and challenges in various industries to show you how you could learn from them.