Black Box Thinking

Failures, mistakes and problems are part of every contractor’s business.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share

They are part of everyone’s day.  What separates out high-performing teams is a relentless focus on learning from these problems then creating systems and training to mitigate them in the future.  

Talent Development Tools: Root Cause Analysis and Improvements. Quote: Ego is about who's right. Truth is about what's right. Mike Maples Jr. Book: Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.

Low-performers look for “Who” did something wrong.

Low-performers put quick fixes in place and move on.

Low-performers avoid talking about failures, problems and mistakes openly.  


High-performers view every failure, problem or mistake as an opportunity to learn. 

High-performers ask lots of questions to identify the root cause of what happened.

High-performers then make plans to adjust for the next cycle.  

High-performers raise up the whole team by creating new standards, processes and training when they find a better way.  


Black Box Thinking was recommended to me by Sujata Bhide and dives much deeper into this topic.  

We spend a lot of time with our clients helping their teams develop great skills at Root Cause Analysis + Improvements.  Never easy; always worth it.  

Learn more




Work Conversion Cycle and Backlog Run-Off
PARADOX: A contractor can’t focus on the bigger strategic issues until they have a predictable backlog of work. If a contractor doesn’t have a solid market strategy and organizational structure in place it’s very difficult to build a consistent backlog.
Retirement Onboarding - Where to Turn for a Helping Hand
Feeling like you’re alone or not sure what the next and best step forward should be? Find out how to get objective input from people you likely already know that have deep experience with these same issues and opportunities around succession.
BIM Culture
Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) is changing every aspect of project delivery. There is a lot of technology involved and many technical challenges. But ultimately the biggest challenges are about talent: