The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner

book jacket the logic of failure

The Logic of Failure: Why things go  wrong and what we can do to make them right by Dietrich Dörner (1989).

Thinking habits and inclinations and illogical methods result in failures to correctly asses risk/rewards, consequences, and effectiveness of any particular decision. These errors compound when a bad decision results in a doubling down of the bad decision rather than accepting the failure and changing method of thinking and plans. Unintended consequences devastate the best planned interventions to solve social ills, business strategy, and pretty much all decision making.

Unrecognized assumptions of thinking in a complex world cause massive harm. Further pushed to the negative consequences if the same kind of thinking attempts to correct the flaws.

“Patterns of thought — such as taking one thing at a time, cause and effect, and linear thinking — cannot work in a world we now recognize as ecologies, complex interactive self-balancing (before humans decided to “tame” and exert dominion over all) systems.

This is an excellent book! Good read. The funny part is that even though it is an older book, some rascal put a reserve on it at the library so I couldn’t renew it! How crazy is that! I think I heard about it on book TV or something so maybe there are other book TV people who follow up on referenced works. But since it is not a current publication, I can’t imagine or remember why it would have been there. So it must have been referenced in some other book I read. Darn it, I am going to have to start making reading genealogy trees.

Continue reading The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner