Blackbox Thinking

Share This Post

10th May, 2023

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself,” wrote Matthew Syed, in his book, ‘Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes-But Some Do’

Studies have shown that we are often so worried about failure that we create vague goals, so that nobody can point the finger when we don’t achieve them.

We come up with face-saving excuses, even before we have attempted anything.

We cover up mistakes, not only to protect ourselves from others, but to protect us from ourselves.

Experiments have demonstrated that we all have a sophisticated ability to delete failures from memory, like editors cutting gaffes from a film reel.

Far from learning from mistakes, we edit them out of the official autobiographies we all keep in our own heads.

When most people practice, they focus on the things they can do effortlessly. Expert practice is different, It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.

Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.

Matthew Syed, in his book has brilliantly explained the importance of feedback and learning from mistakes.

He says “Blackbox thinking for organizations beyond aviation is not about creating a literal blackbox, rather it is about the willingness and tenacity to investigate the lessons that often exist when we fail, but which we rarely exploit. It is about creating systems & cultures that enable organizations to learn from errors rather than being threatened by it.

Lets learn from failures, the mistakes of others & stay blessed forever.