Being attentive to irregularities, inconsistencies, or other forms of subtle failure is the essence of mindful learning in organizations. One view of organizational crisis is that crises are the manifestation of risk. In other words, crises are precipitated by risks that are recognized, ignored, or undetected. Thus, every crisis is preceded by a series of risks that are often apparent through retrospective assessment. Mindful learning occurs when organizations recognize these minor indicators of failure and strategically respond to them with the goal of avoiding major events such as crises.

The only point at which mindful learning is unnecessary is when two unlikely characteristics occur simultaneously: (1) an organization has found the absolute best way to accomplish its goals and (2) nothing changes in the organization’s ...

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