Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success

Failure is inevitable. Our increasingly complex world demands that we continuously learn from failures (and successes) in order to survive and thrive. And yet, our learning is too often undermined. We construct biased but comfortable stories, which often feature a simple, single "root cause"--a villain, someone to take the blame. Having done that, we short-circuit the possibility of developing any deeper understanding of the complex systems we work with. With this common approach, our systems will become more fragile and drift into failure. In this concise and entertaining book, I.T. veteran Dave Zwieback describes an incident that threatens the very existence of a large financial institution, and the counterintuitive steps its leadership took to stop the downward spiral. Their novel approach is grounded in proven concepts from complexity science, resilience engineering, human factors, cognitive science, and organizational psychology. It allows us to identify the underlying conditions for failure, and make our systems (and organizations) safer and more resilient.Get a clear understanding of the downside of blameLearn how to identify (and counteract) cognitive biases in groupsSee how organizations can determine the real root cause of problemsEstablish real accountability with your organizationUse the Learning Review Framework to fully learn from failures of complex systemsFind practical insights and tips for moving beyond blame in your own organization

Author: Dave Zwieback

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