The failings of healthcare professionals (and the organisations they work in) seems to be a hot topic currently. The recent GMC case relating to Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba has rightly created an outcry about how poorly structured much of our healthcare system is when it comes to dealing with adverse events. And closer to home, dentists are now getting to grips with how to deal with the new GDC requirements relating to the new CPD guidelines, reflecting on their personal development and things that don't go well. So revisiting one of favourite books from last year "Black Box Thinking" feels very appropriate at this time.
Black Box Thinking, by Matthew Syed should, in my opinion, be compulsory reading for all healthcare professionals and politicians, and on a wider scale really anyone who is interested in wanting to achieve the full potential or make a difference in this world. It expertly deals with the very challenging topic of how to recognise and learn from your failures and avoid the universal psychological pitfalls that result in everyone, and I do mean everyone, hiding from them.
It is a long book and there is a lot of depth to it so trying to do it justice in a summary in this space wouldn't be possible but the main topics covered in BBT are:
Why we fail
Why we are routinely blind to our failures
How to avoid this problem and therefore open up the potential to learn from your failures
How to optimise the learning potential of these problems
Listening to BBT for a second time has been very useful for me. I have absorbed a lot more fine detail and have been able to make deeper connections with other books I have read or listened to recently. There is a large amount in BBT relating to the creative potential of this kind of mindset which has a lot in common with The Runaway Species which I reviewed very recently (here: www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-the-runaway-species)
If you have not read Black Box Thinking already I would strongly suggest you do so. I will definitely be planning on taking a lot of the lessons gained from it and applying them in my various roles as a dentist, a supervisor and even as a father. You can get it for yourself here:
Dr Chris Harper