Modern management science seeks to streamline and rationalise the business process; to base decision-making on proven facts and to eliminate risk and uncertainty.Unfortunately, businesses are run by human beings and depend on other human beings for their custom. Human beings, it seems safe to say, are irredeemably selfish, greedy, short-sighted and prone to mass delusion. Time and again throughout history, business and society have been blindsided by people’s irrational and unpredictable behaviour. And it’s not just the consumers: well-respected business executives and their advisors get swept up with euphoria and panic along with the rest of us; they succumb to greed; they fail to plan for likely crises (and sometimes even for inevitable ones). Blindsided looks at the history of such outbreaks of irrational behaviour, at the occurrence of unpredictable but likely events, such as global pandemics and collapses of law and order, and at changes that have caught forecasters by surprise, such as the ageing and declining population of some affluent modern societies. This fascinating book reminds the world of business that it needs to plan for the unexpected, and to realise that neither its consumers nor even its own executives must be expected to act with cool rationality at all times.
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