PERSPECTIVES

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Performance by Kevin McManus

Experimenting with cognitive performance   
Too often, we label people as complacent, careless or worse when they make mistakes. We blame them instead of exploring how the cognitive challenges resulting from their daily habits might affect their ability to perform their jobs effectively. How do your daily habits affect your ability to perform error-free work? What insights could you gain by experimenting on yourself?

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Management by Paul Engle

Managing enterprise risk   
Emerging risks may be more difficult to identify and quantify. Technological advances and geopolitical changes conspire to produce risks unimaginable a few years ago. The financial crisis of 10 years ago came unexpectedly and produced devastating outcomes from which some have yet to recover.

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Health Systems by Peter Woodbridge

Problem-solving in healthcare
As I mused on the difference between U.S. and Japanese solutions to everyday problems, I was reminded of the adage: “scientists solve puzzles; engineers solve problems.” While a puzzle generally has only one solution, a problem may have multiple solutions. The Japanese found one set of solutions to everyday hygiene and transportation; in the U.S. we found others. There is no single right answer.

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Manufacturing by Paul Templin

'Dark factories' still aren’t a reality  
Clearly, the level of connectivity and integration in today’s economy should not be trivialized. New trade barriers could alter the calculus. Yet, just as clearly, integrated systems of automation do not yet exist that can completely replace factory workers.

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Systems engineering by Ricardo Valerdi

Optimism cuts both ways  
If being an optimist is good, then why can it sometimes be so bad? In other words, why is something that is so good in life potentially so problematic in the workplace? Optimism is truly a double-edged sword that cuts both ways because of its range of advantages and disadvantages.

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