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About Matthew Syed
Matthew Syed is one of the world’s most influential thinkers in the field of high performance in the context of a complex and fast-changing world.
He draws on a vast array of case studies and real-world examples across sport, business, education and politics. Matthew looks at the inside story of how success really happens – and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes. In his latest book, You Are Awesome, Matthew distils the principles of growth mindset, resilience and adaptability in his other books for a younger audience.
In his previous career, Matthew was the former England table tennis number one for almost a decade. Nowadays Matthew is a multi-award-winning journalist for The Times, a highly-acclaimed speaker, and a regular contributor to radio and television. He is the author of three bestselling books on the subject of mindset and high performance – Bounce, Black Box Thinking and The Greatest. Matthew’s fourth book is planned for publication in 2019, following his children’s book, You Are Awesome, which is available to order now.
Matthew lives in London with his wife and two children. To find out more about Matthew’s work, visit: www.matthewsyed.co.uk.
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We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it’s underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences. Consider the shocking fact that preventable medical error is the third-biggest killer in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths every year. More people die from mistakes made by doctors and hospitals than from traffic accidents. And most of those mistakes are never made public, because of malpractice settlements with nondisclosure clauses.
For a dramatically different approach to failure, look at aviation. Every passenger aircraft in the world is equipped with an almost indestructible black box. Whenever there’s any sort of mishap, major or minor, the box is opened, the data is analyzed, and experts figure out exactly what went wrong. Then the facts are published and procedures are changed, so that the same mistakes won’t happen again. By applying this method in recent decades, the industry has created an astonishingly good safety record.
Few of us put lives at risk in our daily work as surgeons and pilots do, but we all have a strong interest in avoiding predictable and preventable errors. So why don’t we all embrace the aviation approach to failure rather than the health-care approach? As Matthew Syed shows in this eye-opening book, the answer is rooted in human psychology and organizational culture.
Syed argues that the most important determinant of success in any field is an acknowledgment of failure and a willingness to engage with it. Yet most of us are stuck in a relationship with failure that impedes progress, halts innovation, and damages our careers and personal lives. We rarely acknowledge or learn from failure—even though we often claim the opposite. We think we have 20/20 hindsight, but our vision is usually fuzzy.
Syed draws on a wide range of sources—from anthropology and psychology to history and complexity theory—to explore the subtle but predictable patterns of human error and our defensive responses to error. He also shares fascinating stories of individuals and organizations that have successfully embraced a black box approach to improvement, such as David Beckham, the Mercedes F1 team, and Dropbox.
Ideas are everywhere, but those with the greatest problem-solving, business-transforming, and life-changing potential are often hard to identify. Even when we recognize good ideas, applying them to everyday obstacles—whether in the workplace, our homes, or our civic institutions—can seem insurmountable. According to Matthew Syed, it doesn't have to be this way.
In Rebel Ideas, Syed argues that our brainpower as individuals isn't enough. To tackle problems from climate change to economic decline, we'll need to employ the power of "cognitive diversity." Drawing on psychology, genetics, and beyond, Syed uses real-world scenarios including the failings of the CIA before 9/11 and a communication disaster at the peak of Mount Everest to introduce us to the true power of thinking differently.
Rebel Ideas will strengthen any kind of team, while including advice on how, as individuals, we can embrace the potential of an "outsider mind-set" as our greatest asset.
Matthew Syed is the Sunday Times bestselling author of Black Box Thinking, Bounce, and The Greatest. He writes an award-winning newspaper column in The Times and is the host of the hugely successful BBC podcast Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy.
What can Roger Federer teach us about the secret of longevity?
What do the All Blacks have in common with improvised jazz musicians?
What can cognitive neuroscientists tell us about what happens to the brains of sportspeople when they perform?
And why did Johan Cruyff believe that beauty was more important than winning?
Matthew Syed, the 'Sports Journalist of the Year 2016', answers these questions and more in a fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative book about the mental game of sport.
How do we become the best that we can be, as individuals, teams and as organisations? Sport, with its innate sense of drama, its competitive edge, its psychological pressures, its sense of morality and its illusive quest for perfection, provides the answers.
Il rivoluzionario metodo per imparare dai propri sbagli
Google, Sky e Mercedes, il loro successo dipende da un nuovo modo di pensare
Cosa hanno in comune il Team della Mercedes di Formula 1 e Google? E la squadra ciclistica del Team Sky e l’industria aeronautica? E in cosa potrebbero somigliarsi l’imprenditore James Dyson e il calciatore David Beckham? Sono tutti dei “Black Box Thinkers”, e il libro di Matthew Syed illustra questo metodo rivoluzionario. In che consiste? Il presupposto è l’esistenza di una sorta di scatola nera che ognuno di noi possiede, un po’ come quella degli aerei, dove viene conservata la memoria delle nostre azioni. Attingere a questo enorme bagaglio di errori già commessi per evitare di farne altri è la partenza, ma non è tutto. Il modello vincente dei marginal gains, cioè del guadagno marginale è l’altro elemento che può aiutarci ad avere successo in tutti i campi. Il principio è semplice: per migliorare non si può non tenere conto anche di quelli che apparentemente sembrano dei dettagli, perché il risultato è dato da una somma di elementi che concorre a determinarlo. Questa teoria applicata inizialmente allo sport, al business e alla politica, si sta diffondendo a macchia d’olio anche in tutte le situazioni quotidiane complicate che richiedono uno sforzo fuori dal normale, come nei rapporti tra genitori e figli, nelle relazioni professionali, nei rapporti interpersonali. Basato su un imponente numero di esempi reali e sui risultati delle ultime ricerche scientifiche, questo manuale ci può assicurare davvero una vita migliore, a patto di essere pronti a imparare dai nostri errori.
«Un libro con una tesi molto convincente!»
«Trasformerà il vostro modo di pensare.»
è editorialista per il «Times». Il suo precedente libro Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice ha avuto un notevole successo. Con Se sbagliamo ci sarà un perché, dove sostiene che la chiave del successo è un atteggiamento positivo nei confronti del fallimento, è stato per settimane nella classifica dei libri più venduti sia nel Regno Unito che negli Stati Uniti.
Analysieren statt vertuschen
Menschen, die gezielt aus Fehlern lernen, anstatt sie zu vertuschen oder anderen in die Schuhe zu schieben, nennt Matthew Syed Black-Box-Denker. Dazu sind jedoch nur wenige in der Lage. Auch in vielen Unternehmen geht man mit Misserfolgen nicht offen und ohne Schuldzuweisungen um. Syed bietet aufschlussreiche Analysen für dieses Verhalten. Zu welchen Erfolgen hingegen ein offensiver Umgang mit Fehlern führen kann, zeigt Syed anhand konkreter Beispiele, aus der Welt des Sports oder von erfolgreichen Unternehmen wie Google, Pixar oder Dropbox.