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Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, Second Edition

Book Description

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 Weick and Kathleen 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. More Praise for the Second Edition of Managing the Unexpected
  3. Preface
    1. A Book About Reliable Organizations
    2. Benchmarking Against the Experts
    3. Acknowledgments
  4. 1. Managing the Unexpected: What Business Can Learn from High Reliability Organizations
    1. The Basic Message of This Book
    2. The Cerro Grande Fire: A Brutal Audit
      1. The Events at Cerro Grande
      2. Understanding the Events at Cerro Grande
        1. HRO Principle 1: Preoccupation with Failure
        2. HRO Principle 2: Reluctance to Simplify
        3. HRO Principle 3: Sensitivity to Operations
        4. HRO Principle 4: Commitment to Resilience
        5. HRO Principle 5: Deference to Expertise
      3. Cerro Grande and the Concept of Mindful Management
    3. What Can We Learn from People Who Face Catastrophe?
    4. Chapter Summary
  5. 2. Expectations and Mindfulness
    1. Expectations and the Search for Confirmation
    2. The Nature of Unexpected Events
    3. The Idea of Mindfulness
    4. Mindfulness in Carrier Operations
      1. The Principles at Work
      2. Mindfulness and Safe Operations
    5. Chapter Summary
  6. 3. The Three Principles of Anticipation
    1. An Overview of Anticipation
    2. Principle 1: Preoccupation with Failure
      1. Weak Signals of Failure and Nuclear Power
      2. Detecting Failure
      3. Reporting Failure
      4. Is Failure as Bad as It Sounds?
    3. Principle 2: Reluctance to Simplify
      1. The Hazards of Labels
      2. The Hazards of Shared Labels
      3. Carrying Categories More Lightly
    4. Principle 3: Sensitivity to Operations
      1. The Meaning of Sensitivity to Operations
      2. Threats to Sensitivity to Operations
      3. Acting with Anticipation: A Summary
    5. Chapter Summary
  7. 4. Principles of Containment
    1. Three Problems Posed by Anticipation and Planning
    2. Principle 4: Commitment to Resilience
      1. The Nature of Resilience
      2. Components of Resilience
      3. Patterns of Resilience
    3. Principle 5: Deference to Expertise
      1. Failures of Deference and the Columbia Space Disaster
      2. The Importance of Deference Downward
      3. Deference to Expertise Rather Than Experts
      4. Expertise and Credibility
    4. Acting for Containment: A Summary
    5. Chapter Summary
  8. 5. Assessing Your Capabilities for Resilient Performance
    1. The Value of Conscious Audits
    2. The Audits and How to Use Them
      1. Audit 5.1: What Do You Count On? A General Starting Point
      2. Audit 5.2: Appraising Tendencies Toward Mindlessness
      3. Audit 5.3: Where You Need to Be Most Mindful
    3. Spotting the Five Principles in Your Organization
      1. Audit 5.4: Preoccupation with Failure
      2. Audit 5.5: Reluctance to Simplify
      3. Audit 5.6: Sensitivity to Operations
      4. Audit 5.7: Commitment to Resilience
      5. Audit 5.8: Deference to Expertise
      6. Audit 5.9: The Mindfulness Organizing Scale
    4. Interpreting the Audits and Using the Results
      1. Four Issues to Examine
        1. How Much Do People Agree?
        2. What Are You Good At?
        3. What Is Dismaying?
        4. Where Could You Be More Mindful?
      2. Repeating the Audits
    5. Chapter Summary
  9. 6. Organizational Culture: Institutionalizing Mindfulness
    1. Taking Stock and Moving Forward
    2. The Form of Organizational Culture
      1. How Culture Develops
      2. How Culture Controls
      3. How Culture Can Be Changed
        1. Change Through Symbols
        2. Change Through Acting into Values
    3. The Content of Culture
      1. The Bristol Royal Infirmary Case
      2. BRI and Informed Culture
        1. Reporting Culture
        2. Just Culture
        3. Flexible Culture
        4. Learning Culture
      3. BRI and You
    4. Chapter Summary
  10. 7. How to Manage Mindfully
    1. Mindfulness in Wildland Firefighting
    2. Small Wins in Mindful Organizing
    3. Small Wins in the Basics of Mindfulness
      1. Small Wins in the Development of a Preoccupation with Failure
      2. Small Wins in the Development of Resistance to Simplification
      3. Small Wins in the Development of Sensitivity to Operations
      4. Small Wins in the Development of a Commitment to Resilience
      5. Small Wins in the Development of Deference to Expertise
    4. Chapter Summary
  11. Notes
    1. Chapter 1: Managing the Unexpected
    2. Chapter 2: Expectations and Mindfulness
    3. Chapter 3: The Three Principles of Anticipation
    4. Chapter 4: Principles of Containment
    5. Chapter 5: Assessing Your Capabilities for Resilient Performance
    6. Chapter 6: Organizational Culture: Institutionalizing Mindfulness
    7. Chapter 7: How to Manage Mindfully
  12. The Authors