Tuesday, June 09, 2009


In the May/June issue of Foreign Policy magazine, "Environmental Futurist" Jamais Cascio identifies the qualities that organizations and societies require in order to survive crises:

* Diversity: Not relying on a single kind of solution means not suffering from a single point of failure.
* Redundancy: Backup, backup, backup. Never leave yourself with just one path of escape or rescue.
* Decentralization: Centralized systems look strong, but when they fail, they fail catastrophically.
* Collaboration: We're all in this together. Take advantage of collaborative technologies, especially those offering shared communication and information.
* Transparency: Don't hide your systems—transparency makes it easier to figure out where a problem may lie. Share your plans and preparations, and listen when people point out flaws.
* Fail gracefully: Failure happens, so make sure that a failure state won't make things worse than they are already.
* Flexibility: Be ready to change your plans when they're not working the way you expected; don't count on things remaining stable.
* Foresight: You can't predict the future, but you can hear its footsteps approaching. Think and prepare.

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