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Three Steps Ahead by David Silverstein

The full title of this book by David Silverstein is

Three Steps Ahead: Thinking Strategically to Avoid Unintended Consequences“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Very interesting

By definition, it’s unusual to think about unintended consequences but these are the usually unwanted events that turn a good idea into a bad one. That’s obviously a mistake but how do you think about the unknown unknowns?

Unintended consequences are also a problem with performance measures and incentives. I remember blogging about the time when the Accident & Emergency departments in hospitals were set a target to see people in four hours and it resulted in the measure being gamed by leaving patients in ambulances and tying down these first responders to the hospitals instead of being free to deal with emergencies.

This book is a well written, wide-ranging review of the ways to expand your thinking about business strategy and change projects. It introduces various ideas like FMEA, scenario thinking, game strategy and systems thinking. It provides limited practical advice on how to apply the techniques so you need to think of it as an introduction rather than the full answer.

It deserves a wide audience because this is an important topic but I’m not sure that its title is going to put it into enough searches on Amazon.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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