New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath asks what happens when we take our thinking upstream and try to prevent problems before they happen.
We all have a tendency to work around problems. We are resourceful. We improvise. We’re so accustomed to managing emergencies as they strike that we often don’t stop to think about how we could prevent crises before they happen. Why ‘solve’ crimes when we could stop them being committed? Why treat chronic diseases when they could be prevented from developing? Why provide shelter for the homeless rather than working to keep people housed in the first place? Why do our efforts skew so heavily towards reaction rather than prevention?
The notion of preventing problems is an evergreen need in our professional and daily lives. Which makes Upstream a book for skeptical optimists – across all sectors – who know it’s not going to be easy, but who believe that we have the capacity to solve some of our thorniest issues, if only we start to think about the system rather than the symptoms. Drawing on insights from Dan Heath’s extensive research, as well as hundreds of new interviews with unconventional problem solvers, he delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than simply reacting to them.