When you set up a system, it helps to keep in mind what will happen if it doesn’t work. Depending on the costs of ‘not working’, you can build more resilience into the system.
In most cases, ‘not working’ isn’t catastrophic. If your toaster doesn’t work, it’s not that big a deal. You can make toast in a few days and live with limp bread in the meantime. On the other hand, if you’re on a mission to Mars, you’ll probably be glad you packed a few extra oxygen tanks, even if the cost of bringing them is quite high.
We make two mistakes when we organize a system:
A useful skill in executive decision making is the ability to describe resiliency and the cost of failure in non-emotional ways. Especially when it’s difficult do precisely that.