It’s always a surprise to me that our infinitely complex systems don’t melt down more than they do. Perhaps that’s changing (for the worse), but that they don’t is an ongoing tribute to the thankless work that Clearfield (a Greenwood neighbor) and Tilcsik (a Toronto professor) celebrate in their first book. Their mix of anecdote and social-science research may be familiar to readers of Gladwell, Pink, et al., but their conclusions are wonderfully clear and often surprising, most particularly a convincing defense of the value of diversity in combating risk: not only by bringing everybody to the table, but by promoting skepticism and avoiding groupthink. Obviously useful if you manage airline safety or major product launches, but equally so if you run a little bookstore or are planning a family vacation.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
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