The Undercover Economist - famed for his explanations - now offers solutions.
Tim Harford introduces a new way of thinking about how to solve the world's most urgent problems, from climate change to terrorism, African poverty to global finance - even the problems we encounter in our own daily lives. When faced with such challenges, we instinctively look to leaders, experts, and gurus to provide us with pre-chewed solutions. Harford argues that the world has become too unpredictable and complex for that. Instead, we must adapt - improvise rather than plan, work from the bottom up, take baby steps.
Adapt draws on exciting new work by passionate young economists and on innovative ideas from across the sciences. It looks at how and why innovation really comes about, extolling the value of trial and error and arguing that we should learn to embrace failure. Above all, Adapt applies hard-won lessons learned in the field, from a spaceport in the Mojave Desert to the street of Iraq, from a blazing offshore drilling rig to the frozen tundra of Siberia. The book shows that it's up to individuals - us - to change the world.
Harford's newest (after The Undercover Economist) is a look at the concept of adaptation, both evolutionary and business-oriented. He examines everything from the lives of colorful guppies to the complex inner workings of oil companies with the desire to understand all aspects of successful innovation. Using a style reminiscent of Freakonomics, Harford burrows through examples from within the U.S. military, the financial world, and most other key industries looking to pinpoint exactly what does and does not work in business today. More importantly, Harford emphasizes the interconnectedness of society. His insights are strengthened by his use of multiple industries and fields of knowledge although his objective is economically minded, it is undoubtedly applicable everywhere. Harford's style manages to be accessible while thoughtfully conveying complex ideas. In many ways, he can be seen as a logical, even more universal descendant of Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline). A truly talented writer with an innovative mind, Harford should get some well-deserved attention for this.
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A fascinating examination of how humans hold themselves back from competing effectively and improving their lives.
Tim Harland compares the ruthless and entirely pragmatic process of Darwin's Theory of Evolution to how the human mind manages failures. He teaches us to examine how and why we often refuse to learn from or even acknowledge failures and techniques to not only embrace but lever failures to our advantage.
Insightful, interesting and thought-provoking...and a good read.