Category Archives: Crisis Management
A Pandemic of Ignorance and Obfuscation: Why We Repeatedly Fail to Heed the Serious Warning Signs of Major Crises
By Ian I Mitroff and John Radke Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley A front-page article in the Monday, March 30, 2020 edition of The New York Times is nothing less than devastating : The “Fail-Safe System that the … Continue reading
As one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management, my colleagues and I have been studying and consulting with major organizations for nearly 40 years regarding their crisis plans and preparations. We’ve been privileged to see … Continue reading
As one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management and a lifelong practitioner of Systems Thinking, I’ve been studying and researching large-scale systems crises for nearly 40 years. The Coronavirus is one of the worst crises … Continue reading
San Francisco Chronicle, September 16, 2018, p. E7. Make no mistake about it, technology is in a state of crisis of its own making. Technology has betrayed our deepest sense of trust and well-being. It has allowed itself — indeed, … Continue reading
If as I believe that an obsessive need for guns is akin to an addiction and therefore cannot be dealt with by means of conventional arguments (after all, many alcoholics know “rationally” that alcohol is killing them but they are still unable to resist its near total control over their lives), then I believe that we need to stop beating around the bush and treat the obsessive need for guns as a major form of addiction. Continue reading
From the standpoint of assumptions, no matter how unalike they are on their surface, crises are eerily alike. Continue reading
Earlier this year, we published Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega Crises and Mega Messes. It was an in-depth study of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. While it was written long before the latest JP Morgan Chase debacle, unfortunately, it anticipated it perfectly. Indeed, it predicted that unless there were momentous changes in the culture of Wall Street, we were in for more of the same. Continue reading
In a recent op-ed, “The Republicans’ Masterful and Insidious Prey on America’s Founding Fears,” I talked about the fact that in 1988, Rupert Wilkinson published a remarkable little book. Wilkinson identified four fears that not only have been present from the very founding of the Republic, but are so basic that they are virtually synonymous with it: 1. The Fear of Being Owned; 2. The Fear of Falling Away; 3. The Fear of Winding Down; and 4. The Fear of Falling Apart.
Very few people know that just a year earlier in 1987, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich also published a book that dealt in a different but complimentary way with the same themes. In fact, I regard it as one of his best books. Continue reading
The senseless killing of Trayvon Martin is not only a monumental tragedy, but it has all the elements of the great epic Greek and Shakespearian tragedies. In fact, all crises do.
The prime lesson: Get thee to the Greek playwrights and Shakespeare if one would better understand crises!
First of all, individual character and institutional flaws are a prominent, if not the most important, element of all crises (think Rupert Murdoch, Goldman Sachs, etc.). Continue reading
When my colleagues and I first started doing surveys of the crisis preparedness of major colleges and universities, we were shocked but not totally surprised to find that as poorly prepared large business organizations generally are for major crises, colleges and universities were even worse off. It is not that they are completely unprepared. Rather, the difference is between the crises that they are relatively well prepared for versus those that they barely prepared for, if at all. Continue reading