The management of the unexpected

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communications&Media ・APA ・1 Sources

Situations can be catastrophic, but the occurrence of those disastrous situations can be mitigated. Awareness of certain scenarios by diligent study of possible events may be the secret to escaping the unexpected. Classifying possible incidents as known is a major step in eliminating such aggressive scenarios. A mechanism established to ensure that a critical review of the likely situation is carried out. A High Reliability Organization is considered to prevent or avoid breakdowns. HRO is one that has tended to escape catastrophic circumstances, including being in a high-risk area of activity. Such organizations do this through meticulous planning and knowing what works for them. It is difficult for organizations to avoid risks if things are not in order.  Despite being in areas where accidents are the order of the day, HROs emerge victorious.  When bad things happen with HROs, the first response from the public is to shock and anger, although a keen observer will see that such organizations succeed with or without regularity.  It is important to keep certain things in mind to avoid or overcome disasters. HRO do not overlook any failure, no matter small it appears because a small deviation from projected results can cause havoc. Hence, HRO tackle any technical issues they come across to stop it from becoming a big issue later on.  HRO are equally complex, and they are willing to accommodate change and variation.  They do not wish away problems; instead, they carry out research to find the root cause of a problem and ways of dealing with it. The processes drawn from simplifications, failures, operations, expertise and options make a breakdown more known even at early stages of occurrence. According to Weick, sensemaking is a tactic to thinking regarding implementation of a communication research, design of the communication system, and practice.  It comprises of a collection of assumptions propositions, and methods. According to the author, there are seven aspects of sensemaking:  grounded in identity construction, retrospective, which makes the past clear,  enactive and sensible environments, sensemaking as a social process, and as an ongoing process, and focuses on extracting cues. Sensemaking is a process that needs attention for success to be achieved. Organizations that have adopted sensemaking have realized great results. When dealing with organizational matters, sensemaking needs people to look answers and explanations of how people interpret things, instead of systems and structures. These steps have to do with training, common behavior, the self-structuring, network restructuring, giving constant attention to any form of redundancy. All these are components of a very workable breakdown control. Reliability will be improved, and the attention to detail will mean that there is not any complacency that inhibits this progress. Impediments such as assumptions lead to underscoring in terms of reliability.

Reliability is the major component of any safe condition. It creates a space where there is no tension and strict adherence to what you are doing. Making these self-checks a routine improves the reliability. The individual in question then becomes accustomed to a safer way of being by keeping an eye on possible indicators of breakdowns. To be accustomed could also be problematic because the complacency that follows after does weaken reliability. Developing these balances and check help establish a pattern within your system, and this could mean an accurate handling of affairs that may be deemed as obvious in a rather professional way. Management of possible surprises or breakdowns could save a business countless times. The process is usually an ongoing process, and the weakness in reliability can easily be detected (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2015). Being able to manage weak signals means that a business may be able to combat a looming crisis even if it had not been detected. But laxity and being less reliable can bring down a multinational agency. The process of being less reliable happens slowly and can easily pass unnoticed. The system may lack to function altogether, and this is illustrated in the case of World Mutual bank. Any business organization requires strict adherence to laid rules. Any miscalculation could tragically affect the entire operations. The rules affect every aspect of running a business from operations, human resource, customer relations, etc. Being preoccupied with failure can help attach attention to finer details. Small errors can easily be detected and eliminated. Errors can escalate to levels that cannot be controlled. Paying attention to simplifications can easily help you to detect concealed information that is helpful in the running of the business. The lesson from the WaMu bank is such that there were massive discrepancies regarding lending and borrowing. Standard procedures were not observed. Detailed information about borrowers was accurately hidden. The preoccupation with lending and receiving high-interest rates halted any effort by the bank to salvage the sinking situation. Being sensitive to operations is a cautious gesture. It helps a business to be closely monitored and checked. Monitoring of all activities, from operations, a creation of designs and the general outlook of a product means reduced chances of a breakdown. Sensitivity to operations brings about scrutiny of the processes involved. Routinely checking everyday process removes or reduces possible entrances of risks, which are risky to the business. WaMu bank underscored this important aspect of running operations without being monitored (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2015).

The management also failed by letting the staff takes control of the operations. Staff, on the other hand, did not update the management of the operations. As a result, the bank which should have been functioning as a single unit disintegrated into small units. Every of the staff was running their affairs, cutting deals and helping as many people as possible to acquire a mortgage on behalf of the bank. Assumptions such as these became the stumbling block for a big bank, and they paid dearly when the bank became bankrupt. Every potential threat that can cause a business or company to fall starts off as a simple and innocent mistake in any department. An error of omission or commission can mean the difference between survival of a business and its failure. Another important aspect that a corporation should be cautious about is business intelligence. It is a requirement that every bank be able to distinguish key happenings in its house. Happenings must also be those that are not easily noticeable and can be harmful to the business. It is therefore very important to be abreast of every detail of happenings. Business intelligence can help avert a looming disaster, or even remedy a breakdown that has set in already but is in its early stages.

Sustaining performance in the dynamic business world is a critical element in every business. In a more diverse world surrounded by technological advancements, businesses have no chance to lose to breakdowns.  Competition is very stiff, and if these impediments are not discovered at early stages, it means that competitors will gain an advantage over your failures. For this reason, it is crucial to stay cautious and not to overlook any situation, however small because it would mean the business financial or otherwise deathbed. The anticipation of a breakdown keeps you aware of any emerging risks. The anticipation of risks will help a business in that you will be able to manage the unexpected. Anticipation enables one to treat anything new or emergent as a possible disaster. With this, it will be very easy to establish when a breakdown will arise. Anticipating an event helps a business to assess its vulnerability in the event a business risk occurs. In this light, a business will be able to foresee a risk even before it happens or before it manifests itself into a full-blown affair (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2015).

Anticipation equips a company or organization with the necessary tactics, people power, and resources. A business will be in the know on what needs to be done, how it should be done and the time when it is expected to be done. It is a precautionary effect that is of paramount importance. The response to the risk more effectively is the purpose of anticipation. Resilience in the company is how the organization pulls itself out of a disaster. Resilience is an important factor that a company must equip itself with. If a disaster strikes, it matters to the business how it will outmaneuver the circumstances and wade off the murky waters.  A business that is resilient can establish progress even in the face of adversity. Resilience means coping with tough times that inhibit the progress of the business. Businesses must not only face tough times to be able to overcome; there are changes that occur within the lifetime of businesses. Only resilient organizations are able to overcome change. Expertise in tackling affairs of the business also means that the organization attaches serious importance to any service or activity within and outside the organization.

Preoccupation with failure concerns close calls or almost missed calls as a type of failure that shows true nature of impending danger rather than people's ability to avoid or overcome danger. HRO concern themselves with impending dangers, always looking for ways to solve problems before they become complex issues. An organization's ability to deal with issues at an early stage enables it to avoid issues later on.  People treat near missed calls as errors, instead of using them as a stepping stone to achieve more.  The rate of reluctance to simplify is explained with people's tendencies to take nothing for granted.  They are always encouraged and motivated to share different points of view. If they feel they have a different idea from the majority, they do not shy away from expressing their views. By doing this, organizations learn and grow. Accommodating different views leads to growth since people can share ideas and find effective solutions to issues.  If something unexpected happens, people know who to run to make things alright. They know those with the expertise to respond to such situations. Deference to expertise means that there are those with expertise in given areas and can be counted on when unexpected things happen. Having such people in organizations is crucial because they know when a problem occurs and can recommend solutions, instead of waiting for it to become a catastrophe. Those in such types of organizations appreciate expertise over positions. They know that if they have the best people in place, they will achieve success easily.  Positions are not important to them like having experts. An example of a body that values expertise over position is NASA, and it has recorded tremendous success over the years.  Its bureaucratic culture of a chain of command and rules have helped it over the years. It is important to strive towards a mindful culture for organizations to succeed. Striving for informal cultures that creates and keeps intelligent awareness is critical.  Informed cultures emanate from four co-existing subcultures; reporting cultures (stipulates what is reported when people make mistakes), just culture (how people assign blame when things go wrong), flexible culture (how people adapt to changes) and learning culture (how people convert lessons into practice). Being mindful requires one to pay attention differently. People stop concentrating on things that affirm their hunches and feels, and rely on factual information.  One starts paying attention to things that are unpleasant, and are contested. By doing things, organizations achieve success.  Paying attention differently means organizations become willing to learn and approach things differently.  Being mindful is also about thinking clearly and not harder or longer. Being mindless is the opposite of being mindful. Organizations that are unwilling to look at things differently are considered mindless. They are unwilling to accept change, or prefer thinking harder. They take a lot of time thinking about an issue, and this may result in undesired effects. It is important that organizations become mindful to promote learning and growth.

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Weick, K., & Sutcliffe, K. (2015). Managing the unexpected. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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