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Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Helping Our Organizations

HELPING ORGANIZATIONS GAIN MORE INSIGHTS means breaking the tyranny of the down arrow in the performance equation. It means dialing back the War on Error. We’ll need to restore a better balance between the arrows, between trying to reduce errors and deviations on the one hand, and increasing insights on the other (see diagram).

People working in organizations face pressure for predictability and perfection (reducing errors and deviations), which motivates managers to specify tasks and timetables as precisely as possible and to view insights as disruptive. Besides, errors are public. They’re visible—easy to track and measure. Managers can show reductions in fault rates as evidence that they’re doing a ...

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