Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty

Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty

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by Karl E. Weick, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
     
 

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Since the first edition of Managing the Unexpected was published in 2001, the unexpected has become a growing part of our everyday lives. The unexpected is often dramatic, as with hurricanes or terrorist attacks. But the unexpected can also come in more subtle forms, such as a small organizational lapse that leads to a major blunder, or an unexamined assumption

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Overview

Since the first edition of Managing the Unexpected was published in 2001, the unexpected has become a growing part of our everyday lives. The unexpected is often dramatic, as with hurricanes or terrorist attacks. But the unexpected can also come in more subtle forms, such as a small organizational lapse that leads to a major blunder, or an unexamined assumption that costs lives in a crisis. Why are some organizations better able than others to maintain function and structure in the face of unanticipated change?

Authors Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe answer this question by pointing to high reliability organizations (HROs), such as emergency rooms in hospitals, flight operations of aircraft carriers, and firefighting units, as models to follow. These organizations have developed ways of acting and styles of learning that enable them to manage the unexpected better than other organizations. Thoroughly revised and updated, the second edition of the groundbreaking book Managing the Unexpected uses HROs as a template for any institution that wants to better organize for high reliability.

The authors reveal how HROs create a collective state of mindfulness that produces an enhanced ability to discover and correct errors before they escalate into a crisis. A mindful infrastructure continually

  • Tracks small failures
  • Resists oversimplification
  • Is sensitive to operations
  • Maintains capabilities for resilience
  • Takes advantage of shifting locations of expertise

Through a discussion of the principle of mindfulness and the practices that can be used to apply it, the authors show how to anticipate and respond to threats with flexibility rather than rigidity. Their practical, solutions-oriented approach includes numerous case studies demonstrating mindful practices and enables readers to assess and implement mindfulness in their own organizations.

Managing the Unexpected is a guide for learning the hard-won lessons of high reliability organizations that are able to manage unexpected threats and bounce back in a stronger position to tackle future challenges.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470534236
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/06/2011
Series:
J-B US non-Franchise Leadership , #8
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
148,589
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Here is the essential book for managers who want toanticipate and adapt to surprises. Weick and Sutcliffe present aset of challenging ideas in a way that is clear and compelling, andthen turn these critical insights into practical guidelines thathave broad application and relevance.”—Gary Klein,Applied Research Associates and author, Sources of Power

“Of course there is 'nothing new under the sun'—butKarl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe come as close as is humanlyimaginable in this latest version of Managing theUnexpected. No issue is more timely (alas), and there maybe no approach that is more original and thoughtful anduseful and data-rich than what you'll find between the coversof this book.”—Tom Peters, author, In Search ofExcellence 

“For those managing or studying organizations likenuclear power plants and aircraft carrier flight decks, Weick andSutcliffe's original edition was a godsend, providing a newlanguage and conceptual structure for understanding whysome of these organizations perform so much better thanothers—and helping those who manage in less extremeenvironments gain to boost their own performance. This latestedition includes valuable new examples and an expanded treatment ofthe critical concepts of anticipation andcontainment—and it is filled with useful adviceabout how to achieve high performance in anysetting.”
—Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard, George F. Baker,Jr., Professor of Public Management, John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment, Harvard University and Eliot I. Snider and FamilyProfessor of Business Administration, Harvard BusinessSchool

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