Upstream by Dan Heath

Upstream by Dan Heath – Book Review – Productivity Book Group

Upstream by Dan Heath

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen [ https://amzn.to/3kh1iVx ] by Dan Heath.

Dr. Frank Buck, the author of Get Organized! Time Management for School Leaders https://amzn.to/2V2H8RL ], and regular speaker on time management, joins me as usual to co-host this summary-review episode on Productivity Book Group.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Dan Heath is the co-author, along with his brother Chip, of four New York Times bestsellers: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. The Heaths’ books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages.

Heath’s fifth book, Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, will be released on March 3, 2020. Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. A graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard Business School, he lives now in Durham, NC.

About the Book (from the book cover)

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath explores how to prevent problems before they happen, drawing on insights from hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem solvers.

So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Cops chase robbers, doctors treat patients with chronic illnesses, and call-center reps address customer complaints. But many crimes, chronic illnesses, and customer complaints are preventable. So why do our efforts skew so heavily toward reaction rather than prevention?

Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including “problem blindness,” which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset. One online travel website prevented twenty million customer service calls every year by making some simple tweaks to its booking system. A major urban school district cut its dropout rate in half after it figured out that it could predict which students would drop out—as early as the ninth grade. A European nation almost eliminated teenage alcohol and drug abuse by deliberately changing the nation’s culture. And one EMS system accelerated the emergency-response time of its ambulances by using data to predict where 911 calls would emerge—and forward-deploying its ambulances to stand by in those areas.

Upstream delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than reacting to them. How many problems in our lives and in society are we tolerating simply because we’ve forgotten that we can fix them?

Our next reading selections

September 23, 2020

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Show Notes/Quotations

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Thanks again to Dr. Frank Buck for joining me here on Productivity Book Group.

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Please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and find out the details and the schedule for upcoming book discussion calls; check out the schedule on the “Upcoming Books” page.

Please feel free to visit iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music Podcasts, or whichever podcast directory or app you prefer to access Productivity Book Group…and feel free to review us there! This helps expand our readership and bring new discussion callers into the fold. Thank you.

Finally, all podcast episodes are archived at ProductivityBookGroup.org under “Episodes” so if you missed a call and want to review it, feel free to head over and give them a listen.

And with that, thanks, everyone for listening to Productivity Book Group.

I’m Ray Sidney-Smith. Here’s to your productive life!


Note: All registered service marks, trademarks and other copyrighted materials mentioned on the podcast are that of their respective owners. This group is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by those copyright owners.

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