With Today’s Complexity, Tiny Errors Can Lead to Enormous Meltdowns. It Can Happen to Any Organization, Says András Tilcsik
Our world is a network of complicated systems—think travel, healthcare, finance, or media. But because these systems are now so dizzyingly complex, even the smallest of errors can lead to enormous disasters. Enter András Tilcsik. As co-author of the hotly anticipated Meltdown, he maps why our systems fail, and how we can check disaster at its source.
Co-author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It (March 2018), András Tilcsik provides a comprehensive, step-by-step illustration of how, and why, systems collapse under their own complexity. One of the world’s Top 40 Professors Under 40, and voted one of thirty management thinkers most likely to shape the future of organizations, Tilcsik speaks to the “paradox of progress.” More capable systems are the natural demand of modern society. But as they become more complex by necessity, so too do they become more vulnerable to failure. In talks, Tilcsik doesn’t simply diagnose the problem—he also offers strategies and solutions to prevent those failures from happening.
Tilcsik—who also developed the award-winning course “Catastrophic Failure in Organizations” at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management—brings to life his particular areas of expertise in three different keynotes. In “Meltdown,” he teaches us how to cope, and thrive, within the shadow of complex systems. In “Exploiting Complexity,” he throws an unforgiving light on contemporary malpractice—Volkswagen Dieselgate, Wells Fargo’s fake account scandal, unscrupulous surgeons, falsified stories in The New York Times, and more—explaining how organizational and technological complexity makes systems ripe for exploitation. Finally, in “The Diversity Speedbump,” Tilcsik presents diversity as more than a buzzword—it’s an urgent and necessary course of action. But, like all complex systems, diversity introduces vulnerabilities as well as strengths.
Whatever the angle, Tilcsik presents all his ideas in light of their measurable benefits, helping leaders understand and utilize complexity to their immediate advantage.