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“Managing the Unexpected” Guest lecture, February 25, 2009

This lecture was based on examination of the ways people and organizations organize for high performance in settings where the potential for error and disaster is overwhelming. Prof. Sutcliffe focused on a group of organizations—high reliability organizations (HROs)—that maintain reliable error-free performance in the face of demanding environments. These organizations don’t do anything different than most organizations are capable of doing. But they have a different set of priorities. We explored the idea that unexpected events can get you into trouble unless you create an infrastructure that is continually tracking small failures, oversimplifications, operations, capabilities for resilience, and shifting locations of expertise. Failure to move toward this infrastructure makes systems more vulnerable to large disruptions from unexpected events and impairs reliable performance. Moving toward a mindful infrastructure is harder than it looks since it means that people have to pay less attention to success, simplicities, strategy, planning, and superiors.

                                        

Vysoká škola manažmentu v Trenčíne, Bezručova 64, 911 01 Trenčín / Panónska cesta 17, 851 04 Bratislava