Saturday, May 21, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Adapt
Author: Tim Harford
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: May 2011
The Undercover Economist takes on the world - the new book from global bestseller Tim Harford.
Everything we know about solving the world s problems is wrong.
Out: Plans, experts and above all, leaders.
In: Adapting - improvise rather than plan; fail, learn, and try again
In this groundbreaking new book, Tim Harford shows how the world s most complex and important problems - including terrorism, climate change, poverty, innovation, and the financial crisis - can only be solved from the bottom up by rapid experimenting and adapting.
From a spaceport in the Mojave Desert to the street battles of Iraq, from a blazing offshore drilling rig to everyday decisions in our business and personal lives, this is a handbook for surviving - and prospering - in our complex and ever-shifting world.
Tim Harford's "Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure" is a book about economic case study, written in an engaging, fast-moving way but without losing any of its erudition.
The book puts forth that there are three essential steps for successful adapting: The first is to try new things with the knowledge that some will fail; to make failure survivable since some of the attempts will surely fail and to make sure you know when you have failed.
The essential steps seem fairly straightforward. But Mr. Harford takes the reader on a journey through history, recalling many failures - Robert McNamara's handling of the war in Vietnam; Donald Rumsfeld's stubbornness dealing with the war in Iraq; The Piper Alpha rig explosion in the North Sea; and the Lehman Brothers financial meltdown.
Book looks into various industries such as: government, military and private sector. Although so called experts have a greater chance in making a correct guess on outcomes of certain actions, their predictions are hardly full proof. Experts are better in making predictions only when compared with guesses of non-experts making guesses on the same topic.