I finally finished “Black Box Thinking” by Matthew Syed. You can get a quick overview from watching his TEDx talk. It was an insightful read, in that I got a bunch of insights out of it. I was also getting quite frustrated by the book and its writing style.

What I liked about it and took away from reading it

It underlined the importance of embracing failure & learning from it. I would have said I’m eager to learn&grow already, but in a conversation with a colleague realized actually I’m not as good at embracing the growth mindset as I thought (or could, or wanted to). It also brought to light how school (and me growing up) really doesn’t prepare you for failing.

So I think it’s given me more awareness of it. E.g. it made me think about how we were handling (or not, more to the point) “failures” like things going wrong on trips for the yacht club (and made me wonder if I should start by just writing down all that went wrong on my own trips and what I can learn from it, to share more widely with the club).

There was some thoughts that made me go “ouuh” around creativity / connecting things. Mainly, it reminded me I really should’ve taken notes while reading it - to better capture those thoughts (I had done that with a book I’d started reading previously, but somehow didn’t do with this one - maybe because it felt not dense-enough with ideas when I started, but in a sense the sparsity of good ideas would’ve made it more valuable to write them down so I could then just give the book to someone else and just keep the valuable bits ).

What I disliked about it or would change about it

I could’ve probably have all valuable thoughts from the book on a page or two. I wished it had chapter summaries like Atomic Habits!