This book review is part of a series that covers the topic of Overcoming Fear. Fear is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. Larry Crane is the Official Guide to Overcoming Fear. The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations, by Dietrich Dorner, is a valuable resource for people interested in Overcoming Failure and it is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Dietrich Dorner, winner of Germany's highest science prize, here considers why - given all our intelligence, experience, and information - we make mistakes, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. Surprisingly, he finds the answer not in negligence or carelessness, but in what he calls "the logic of failure": certain tendencies in our patterns of thought - such as taking one thing at a time, cause and effect, and linear thinking - that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Today everything is interrelated. We can't do just one thing at a time, because everything has multiple outcomes; we can't think in isolated cause-and-effect terms because all situations have side effects and long-term repercussions. With a charitable view of our capacity to err, Dorner shows that we act before we understand all the interlocking elements of a complex system. Faced with problems that exceed our grasp, we pile small error upon small error to arrive at spectacularly wrong conclusions. We too often ignore the big picture and seek refuge in what we know how to do - fiddling while Rome burns. Working with intriguing computer simulations of his own invention, Dorner exposes these flaws in our thinking. His examples - sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying - and brain-teasing thought experiments teach us how to solve complex problems. Together they make The Logic of Failure a corrective tool, a guideline for intelligent planning and decision making that can sharpen the thinking skills of business managers, policymakers, and everyone involved in the daily challenge of getting from point A to point B. Like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, The Logic of Failure will alter the way we conceive of change itself and transform our sense of the path to success.

The Chernobyl atomic-plant explosion, observes Drner, was entirely due to human error involving the breaking of safety rules by a team of experts who reinforced one another's puffed-up sense of competence. This German psychology professor believes people court failure through sloppy or ingrained mental habits, whether the mistakes involve cleaning dead fish out of a garden pool, adding rooms to a schoolhouse, launching economic development programs in Africa or forecasting oil prices or the scope of the AIDS epidemic. Things go wrong, according to Drner, because we focus on just one element in a system complicated by interrelationships; we apply corrective measures too aggressively or too timidly; we ignore basic premises, overgeneralize, follow blind alleys, overlook potential side effects and narrowly extrapolate from the moment, basing our predictions of the future on those aspects of the present that bother or delight us the most. This ingenious manual will assist problem-solvers in all fields.

Author's Bio: 

This book review is part of a series that covers the topic of Overcoming Fear. Fear is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. The Official Guide to Overcoming Fear is Larry Crane.

I would like to show you how to use the laughingly simple Release® Technique to get practically anything you want in your life. It's so easy; any can do it! Larry Crane has been teaching The Release® Technique to executives of Fortune 500 companies for years. He has personally trained businessmen, psychiatrists, psychologists, sports and entertainment celebrities, sales people, managers and housewives in the art of letting go of problems, emotions, stress and subconscious blocks that are holding people back from having total abundance and joy in their lives. The Release Technique has been taught to over 100,000 graduates worldwide.

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Larry Crane, the Official Guide to Overcoming Fear