Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It by Chris Clearfield, András Tilcsik

A groundbreaking take on how complexity causes failure in all kinds of modern systems—from social media to air travel—this practical and entertaining book reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and life.

A crash on the Washington, D.C. metro system. An accidental overdose in a state-of-the-art hospital. An overcooked holiday meal. At first glance, these disasters seem to have little in common. But surprising new research shows that all these events—and the myriad failures that dominate headlines every day—share similar causes. By understanding what lies behind these failures, we can design better systems, make our teams more productive, and transform how we make decisions at work and at home.
Weaving together cutting-edge social science with riveting stories that take us from the frontlines of the Volkswagen scandal to backstage at the Oscars, and from deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico to the top of Mount Everest, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik explain how the increasing complexity of our systems creates conditions ripe for failure and why our brains and teams can't keep up. They highlight the paradox of progress: Though modern systems have given us new capabilities, they've become vulnerable to surprising meltdowns—and even to corruption and misconduct.
But Meltdown isn't just about failure; it's about solutions—whether you're managing a team or the chaos of your family's morning routine. It reveals why ugly designs make us safer, how a five-minute exercise can prevent billion-dollar catastrophes, why teams with fewer experts are better at managing risk, and why diversity is one of our best safeguards against failure. The result is an eye-opening, empowering, and entirely original book—one that will change the way you see our complex world and your own place in it.

It refers to lots of meltdown events like Enron scandal, Deep Horizon, Fukushima disaster etc. It is all based on groupthink which reinforces the blind spots within the group, and as well the other psychological effects of homogenous groups. It has lots of references to studies about group dynamics. In all the groups that does better are the ones that are diverse and skeptic of each others. The diverse group does see the naked emperor that way. The book also gives solutions.



FOTCM Member
So far the book does sound interesting, do you plan to read it yourself? Eventually when you are finished you could write a small review if it is really worth it?

What makes you think that I haven't read the book?
I did write a small review in the first post of this thread.

I don't make new threads for books I haven't read. In fact I had a lot of hesitation to suggest this book to this forum after I read it, but I had to post my suggestion in case it could bring some value.

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