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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

New York Times best-selling 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2020 Dan Heath (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Upstream

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extraordinary

I started this book hearing to a podcast...and I must say it's an amazing and extraordinary book. it probes one to think and avoid common fallacies such as avoiding problem blindness, tunnelling and ownership issues...the hard hitting questions and cases offered are simply superb. a must read...I mean listen

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the narration of the story is very nice

a beautiful and interesting concept of thinking . a good book after covid for new thinking .

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Well researched

Health care definitely requires upstream thinking where substantial work needs to done in preventing illness

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Let’s you think deep and in a new direction.

This book takes you where not many authors have taken you before. It lets you think deep, to let you think about going to the root cause and also plan what kind of actions can be taken so as to not let them happen. I certainly can see it implementing in my business and personal life.

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One of the best books!

Textbooks should be like this to grasp concepts. Marvellous life time work by the author.

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Change my thought process in multiple things

I have read Made to Stick by Heath brothers. I am a big fan of Dan Heath when he hosted Choiceology podcast. This one I felt as an outcome of more intense research. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. Can't agree more with the insights author has provided with the actionable advises to swim upstream.

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Superb with amazingly relatable examples

This is excellent book about upstream value and examples where it has been demonstrated. What I particularly enjoyed is the stories are not about popular people and companies but about common people and how the passion and individual efforts have led to massive value creation.

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Brilliant

Brilliant explanation. Great narration . Superb lessons . Thank you Dan for the inspiration and your hard work .

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Upstream is the Future

Loved each section of this book. Each of the live case study given in the book perfectly relates to our lives irrespective of the cultures , country and caste we profess. Must read for everyone and especially those who wish to have lasting impact in their lives, relationships, work and people.

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Expands perspective and reinforces Prevention

A very practical read validated with some great stories, events and lots of measurable data to reinforce - " Prevention is Better Than Cure"

Yet we spend, invest more time in firefighting, curing rather than investing in preventing. Expanded my perspective.

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  • SteveN
  • 01-08-20

Insightful and Practical

The potential benefits offerd from the teachings in this book are huge, to be able to prevent rather than cure is not a new revelation but it is a lesson that the 'instant gratification' generations should learn and apply.

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  • Gupster
  • 02-04-21

a little preachy and US centric

for me not much new in this book. It feels like the book is very oriented around systems thinking, with lots of examples of why you should do it. at time it felt preachy to good causes and most examples were US focused, so it would have been nice to see more international examples. I wonder if Dan has lost some of his sparkle not working with his brother like his other books.

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  • Maeve
  • 18-09-20

👍

So many sub-stories that I want to return back to that I had to buy the book too!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-09-20

would recommend

interesting book gave me ideas for some new projects at work. worth reading to take a step back and see things from another angle. case studies were interesting and almost all were new to me.

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  • Ismael Gutierrez
  • 14-06-20

Insightful

This book is essentially about the unfair appraisal we all have for upstream and downstream work. Whilst the book relies too heavily on the same "example of success - Lesson" model, it is a very good defence of the importance of prevention and proactive attitudes at the office and at home.

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  • Ali
  • 18-05-20

Change starts with study

Just finished reading “Upstream” by @danheath. I have to say I did enjoy the book, my view would be that the system needs to shift its perspective to an outside in as a system view and those measures of learning should be looked at overtime in capability charts to allow for effective learning.

For me the book had some useful ways to tactics and with the knowledge of John Seddon’s work of how to study, and change a system they could come in very handy but also equally as dangerous if the right mindset is not applied.

Systems and sub systems services exist because customer see how they create value in their lives. Upstream thinking will help you question and understand what is real value as defined by the arbiter, the customer. The only question left is as Deming would say “by what method”.

Our view would be study your organisation as a system, gaining knowledge and understanding of how, how well and why only so well in a systematic manner.

Doing so will ensure you understand what needs to be given up and why in order systemic change to be effective.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-20

The Socialist Manifesto?

Overall I enjoyed the book and the forward thinking that it promotes. However, some of the political implications are not sufficiently discussed, nor the dangers that may await us by adapting a more "upstream" approach.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-03-21

Thought provoking read and great examples of upstream thinking

Great read for Managers, leaders and trainers looking for inspiration and examples as they prepare to set sail and take their teams upstream