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Breaking Failure: How to Break the Cycle of Business Failure and Underperformance Using Root Cause, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, and an Early Warning System by Alexander Edsel

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1. Failure & Stagnation

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”

—John Wooden, the “Wizard of Westwood” (As head coach at UCLA, Wooden won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period.)

If a cruise ship carrying 1,000 passengers had a major emergency at sea (i.e., a failure) and the passengers had to evacuate the ship but at that critical moment learned that there were no preplanned evacuation guidelines, life jackets, or lifeboats, and that the crew had never trained for an evacuation, most people would consider this an act of criminal negligence. Although lives are not usually at risk in a business context, few companies have a preplanned contingency response, exit plan, or the necessary training in place to identify, mitigate, ...

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