The Logic of Failure

By Dietrich Dorner,

Book cover of The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations

Book description

Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Doerner identifies what he calls the logic of failure",certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Logic of Failure as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Logic of Failure explores why leaders make bad decisions – and how to make better ones. Whenever I am asked for a book recommendation, this is always the first one I mention because I have learned so much from it, and what I have learned has helped me make better decisions every single day. This is an amazing, evidence-based effort to understand the root causes of failure and the pathways to success. It will help you understand how your plans can fail so that you can ensure they succeed.

From Bryce's list on thinking leaders.

We are often not successful at long-term forecasting or assessing unintended consequences. Dorner’s book takes a group of executives, gives them complete control over a third-world country, and challenges them to improve their quality of life. Only a very few succeed. You will need to figure out why so many top executives failed and why some succeeded. It’s worth your time to figure it out.

From Perry's list on trading the markets.

Originally written in German and published in English in the mid-1990s, this book has been out of print for a while. Nevertheless, find it and buy it. It is based on the provocative but accurate premise that more harm is done in this world by do-gooders who are unaware of the unintended consequences of what they are doing – than by people actually trying to cause harm! Dorner is a German psychologist who set up a lab to study how people make decisions in highly complex, dynamic, challenging environments (mayors of towns or humanitarian organizations in crisis situations), and what…

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