Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 10, 2011 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
9 Reviews

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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ohernaes - LibraryThing

Great book. I totally agree on the importance of adaptation and learning through experimentation and trial and error. However, problem is that we often do not know what the feedback says. Like the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lakenvelder - LibraryThing

I had a difficult time with this audio book version because I was listening it in the car to and from work. Although their were some interesting subject talked about I would not say too many of the ... Read full review


One Adapting
Two Conflict or How organisations learn
Three Creating new ideas that matter or Variation
Four Finding what works for the poor or Selection
Five Climate change or Changing the rules for success
Six Preventing financial meltdowns or Decoupling
Seven The adaptive organisation
Eight Adapting and you

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About the author (2011)

Tim Harford is the Undercover Economist and Dear Economist columnist for the Financial Times. His writing has also appeared in Esquire, Forbes, New York magazine, Wired, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. His previous books include The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life. Harford presents the popular BBC radio show More or Less and is a visiting fellow at London's Cass Business School. He is the winner of the 2006 Bastiat Prize for economic journalism and the 2010 Royal Statistical Society Award for excellence in journalism.

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