NBBA: Curating the Business Conversation

Meltdown with Chris Clearfield

Episode Summary

As our systems—and our lives—become more complex, so do our failures. Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik are the co-authors of Meltdown, and the winners of the 2019 National Business Book Award. Chris speaks with host Mitch Joel about what we can learn by analyzing some of businesses' biggest mistakes—from oil spills and plane crashes, to social media missteps and misconduct.

Episode Notes

Host Mitch Joel speaks with Chris Clearfield, the co-author of this year’s award-winning book. Chris and András Tilcsik are the authors of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It. They put businesses’ biggest mistakes—and the systems that caused them—under the microscope, and look at the role complexity plays in fueling them. But Meltdown doesn’t point fingers: Chris and András pull apart these public missteps to troubleshoot solutions, in the hope that we can avoid repeating them. Chris speaks with Mitch about what he and András call ‘the paradox of progress’—the more modern and capable our systems are, the more vulnerable they are to unexpected meltdowns—and even to corruption and misconduct. But with our systems, and our lives, only getting more complicated, what can we do to avoid meltdowns? And when there’s so much complexity to point to, who’s really to blame when something goes wrong? 

Join the conversation and learn more about the 2019 finalists by tweeting with #NBBAward. 

Produced by Allie Graham for Church+State Podcasts.