Robust Yet Fragile

Train derailment causes massive oil leak in community. Drought conditions in California foster massive wildfires. Thunderstorms and lightening strikes in Ohio causes east coast power failure.

These and other disasters underscore the fragile conditions that we live in. Despite being able to transport oil usually safely across the country, accidents happen. The California drought, as bad as it is could be worse if California officials had not started planning for it 20 years ago. And Mother Nature’s fury in one place easily resonates across the country.

We take it for granted that our lights go on when we flip the switch even though there are no guarantees of it and the system can easily go down. The phrase robust yet fragile, depicts what can happen when our core infrastructure systems cannot maintain their activity and in the same way, our own robust systems sometimes fail which can lead to illness, accidents or unhappiness.

Try out some of these ideas to build your own robust systems:

  • Look at challenges as opportunities. One of my clients has to change procedures based on some state regulations. Upon further examination, they think they may be able to increase revenues by making the changes.
  • Have backup systems so you have personal redundancy: Talk to friends about helping you car pool kids around.
  • Consider the possibility you don’t have all the answers: Ask your millennial colleagues their views on different topics and gain some new perspectives.
  • Embrace your crazy ideas: Call them your “crockpot thinking,” but by embracing ideas that you usually don’t talk about with others, you may be creating some new paradigms for yourself and your team.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015


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