Chapter 6

Change Blindness

Those unaware are unaware of being unaware.

—E. CIORAN

We continue our exploration of business change by reviewing a dramatic moment in history: the market meltdown of 2008. Postmortems of the “Great Recession” revealed that the sharp economic downturn in the late 2000s through the early 2010s was far from unforeseen. Managers in the companies at the center of the crisis saw plenty of signs that danger lay ahead. Within Lehman Brothers, for example, people in risk management roles had noted that the firm was deepening investments in mortgage-backed securities and that the scope of these investments violated Lehman’s own risk management standards. Lehman Brothers’ risk managers repeatedly engaged senior leaders about ...

Get Managing at the Leading Edge: Navigating and Piloting Business Strategy at Critical Moments now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.