In early 2019, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was nearly destroyed by a fire. Unlike major disasters such as the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle explosions for instance, the fire at Notre Dame de Paris has never been thoroughly analyzed. Thus, many people still believe that it was entirely due to errors made by frontline workers. This study suggests that it actually resulted from the combination of various types of errors. It also argues that it was a predictable surprise, which is a disastrous event that could have been anticipated. Finally, it introduces a four-step playbook that can help leaders and organizations avoid predictable surprises.
BARTHELEMY, J. (2023). Avoiding predictable surprises: Lessons from the fire at Notre Dame de Paris. Organizational Dynamics, In press, pp. 100966.