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Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance in a Complex World, 3rd Edition by Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Karl E. Weick

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Chapter 6Principle 4: Commitment to Resilience

“It takes a lot of knowledge to run a complex system and even more when the system is surprised.”1

—Chris C. Demchak

Most systems try to anticipate trouble spots, but the higher reliability systems also pay close attention to their capability to investigate, learn, and act without knowing in advance what they will be called to act upon.2 Reliable systems spend time improving their capacity to do a quick study, to develop swift trust, to engage in just-in-time learning, to imagine detailed next steps, and to recombine fragments of potentially relevant past experience. The signature of a high reliability organization (HRO) is not that it is error-free, but that errors don't disable it.3 Here is ...

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