In this groundbreaking book, Tim Harford, the Undercover Economist, shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. When faced with complex situations, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action and blaze a path to success. Harford argues that today's challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinion; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt.
Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with the compelling story of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises—as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives.
Taking us from corporate boardrooms to the deserts of Iraq, Adapt clearly explains the necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. It is a breakthrough handbook for surviving—and prospering— in our complex and ever-shifting 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.
A fresh perspective on problem solving
Provides several case studies and observations of the benefits of introducing more experimentation and randomization into our problem solving process. A great read for anyone who designs products or systems. A great read for anyone who is in search of a better way to meet their goals.