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Know What You Don’t Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen by Michael A. Roberto

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9. The Mindset of a Problem-Finder

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Japanese Zen priest

On July 17, 1981, roughly two thousand people attended a dance party at Kansas City’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Shortly after seven o’clock that evening, two overhead walkways collapsed onto the packed atrium below, killing one hundred fourteen people and injuring many others. The higher walkway gave way first, causing it to crash onto the lower walkway. Both structures then crashed onto the crowded atrium lobby below. Panic ensued throughout the hotel. A joyful dance party turned into a horrifying tragedy in a matter of seconds.1

An investigation revealed that a design modification ...

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