Progress is Happiness – Black Box Thinking to learn, evolve and just be better!

Continued business and personal development in my opinion is essential for progress.

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About SuccessBelow is my own extract from that last book I read- Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.

Coffee at the ready?

Here we go…

We are all part of an immediate society that makes us impatient. It also makes us blame and even hate. Trends come and go so quick it’s easier to be sarcastic than it is to have the strength or commitment to stand by an opinion.

What if there was no right or wrong? What if we all actually listened to understand rather than to come back with an answer? What if we realised that a single event seen from 1000 different angles could lead to 1000 entirely different perceptions of that same event. Each not right or wrong to the next, just is!

Stand alone – No need to categorise or box for convenience.

If we move this into a business environment it would mean creating a culture where we learn, listen, adapt and develop. We would evaluate each process, error, customer or staff feedback not as a way of attack against the current set of systems but as a fantastic opportunity to improve and progress. Each interaction having the potential to make our staff happier, customers happier and ultimately build a better business to work within.

The time for knee jerk- tick box management and autocratic people in positions that use their title is over. We need to embrace a more transparent form of leadership. Make our team feel safe, valued and appreciated. This safe environment will create a two way platform for communication which will lead to progress if we listen with the same intentions.

For most business owners or entrepreneurs that are rarely satisfied as they always want to strive towards making the world a better place this method of black box thinking will lead to progress. Progress is happiness.

Matthew Syed wrote Black Box Thinking.  I read a lot of books and listen to a lot of audio-books. Some good, some great. There are always things relevant to your own business or your own level of leadership. It is also essential to take time to reflect on your own business and personal development from a bird’s eye view rather than being in it daily with no real complete perspective, effectively blind.

Black Box Thinking came from the idea, that in aviation a black box records every single action, process, operation or communication. If there is ever an issue, and in aviation an issue could be fatal, the black box is studied.

Transposing this into a business environment – Individual and company processes are reviewed and improved. There is no blame just the opportunity to learn. Even down to the study of psychological factors that may affect a person’s performance in that working environment that could cause an issue.

This is one element of the book but it has been my favourite book in the last 3 years. This was never intended as a review but I strongly suggest you read or listen to it. I’ll visit it again towards the end of the year. This will keep me in check as I lead my team and continue to build on our culture.

Finally- I have approached this from a business perspective. Imagine using this way of thinking, this methodology in personal relationships? How about at schools or when we individually teach our children? Would people be afraid of answering? Of potentially being wrong. Would kids in class stick there neck out and put their hand up? How about if they knew creating a ‘wrong’ answer could lead to a new opportunity to learn that we would all benefit from and be grateful for. What kind of leaders would this way of thinking create? What would the world look like then?