Rita Gunther McGrath wrote an article for Duke Corporate Education titled Everything you assumed was wrong.

« Finely tuned systems are not built for resilience.  »

« What makes a system resilient against disaster? Scholars of High Reliability Organizations point to six key elements »

  1. Redundancy
  2. Isolation
  3. Cross-training
  4. Slack resources
  5. Localized decision-making
  6. Systemic communication architecture

« In much of the world, some or all of these elements were absent, hence the devastating consequences of the pandemic. Yet building resilience is problematic: it means plotting certain present costs against vague, distant benefits. If we invest in resilience and nothing bad happens, people feel the investments were not worthwhile. Even now, people doubt the value of the Y2K compliance program. »

Rita McGrath is author of Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen.

The term High Reliability Organizations reminds me of book called Managing the Unexpected (2001) which also talked about resilience.

The point about finely-tuned systems reminds me of a book called Slack…the Myth of Total Efficiency (2002).


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