How to Spot Danger -- Before It's Too Late

Even well-run companies can get blindsided by disasters they should have anticipated, whether these disasters take the form of financial scandals, operational disruptions, or product failures. That's because many leaders remain oblivious to emerging threats.

To anticipate predictable surprises, ask yourself and your colleagues, "What potential dangers are currently brewing in our organization?" People often know of approaching storms. Encourage them to speak up. Then, ferret out threats invisible to insiders. For example, gather individuals from inside and outside your company to analyze external trends. Create scenarios for surprises that could emerge over the next two years. Then design preparatory measures.

Today's Management Tip of the Day was adapted from the HBR article, "Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming," by Michael D. Watkins and Max H. Bazerman.

Note to Readers: Starting at noon, is turning off comments on this blog to allow for some software upgrades and other maintenance. Comments are expected to resume by late Wednesday afternoon.

By Editors  |  August 5, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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I appreciate this blog and hope that it generates more traffic. I believe this topic applies to young and old equally. As for this topic - do anyone else treat this like general risk management or utilize the insider-outsider approach espoused in a later blog?

Posted by: Larry | August 7, 2008 8:16 PM

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