Posts tagged “Linearity


Posted on January 6, 2018


As I look back on 2017, I notice the distinct absence of linearity. Progress comes in fits and starts. Certain decisions and certain moments have bigger impacts, just like certain periods in the stock market dramatically swing investment returns. Challenges and opportunities often arise in unpredictable ways. Like a sprinter in training, long months of unnoticed preparation can lead to a short visible accomplishment. The absence of linearity is exactly why recurring analysis and recurring improvement are so important to advancing in a changing ecosystem, and we all live in one. Let’s all make intentional progress in 2018, even if it’s not linear. “Design does not progress in a straight line. Design grows in response to the same essential forces of breaking down and building up that inform all innovation.” -Esperanza Emily Spalding *

Organizational Reaction to Disasters

Posted on June 16, 2013


As demonstrated with the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, a poor understanding of risk can contribute to large scale disasters. By looking at organizational decision-making after the 1984 Bhopal disaster, we can further understand how organizations react to disasters – a pattern typical of corporate behavior following low-probability, high-impact events. Prior to an accident, the firm focuses on a probability threshold (p*) and assumes that any event whose estimated probability (p) is less than p* will effectively have a zero chance of occurrence. Hence, no consideration is given to ways of reducing the risk of such events. After a catastrophic accident in its own plant or in the industry, the firm emphasizes ways of avoiding such events in the future even if p<p*.…