Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty / Edition 2by Karl E. Weick, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
Pub. Date: 08/31/2007
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… See more details below
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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Table of Contents
1. Managing the Unexpected: What Business Can Learn from High-Reliability Organizations.
2. Expectations and Mindfulness.
3. The Three Principles of Anticipation.
4. Principles of Containment.
5. Assessing Your Capabilities for Resilient Performance.
6. Organizational Culture: Institutionalizing Mindfulness.
7. How to Manage Mindfully.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe give readers something new and useful in this book. Countless manuals explain how to plan for crises and make it sound like everything will go smoothly if you just plan correctly. Weick and Sutcliffe know better. Planning, they say, may even stand in the way of smooth processes or be the cause of failure. They base this discussion on their studies of "high reliability organizations" (HROs), like fire fighting units and aircraft carrier crews, organizations where the unexpected is common, small events make a difference, failure is a strong possibility and lives are on the line. From those examples, they deduce principles for planning, preparation and action that will apply to any company facing change. The book is not perfect - the authors overuse quotations and rely on buzzwords that don't add much - but it addresses often-neglected aspects of management. getAbstract recommends it to anyone who is trying to make an organization more reliable and resilient amid change.