Clearing out some old Wall Street Journals last night I happened upon an article called "Why Preparing for Failure Can Bring You Success" and it included a term that I can’t get out of my head: Surprise Machine. Doesn’t that sound like a fun band? Or maybe I should rename this blog!
So spin-meisters of presidential candidates, widely reported to be lowering expectations, do it anyway. And companies routinely lower expectations to manufacture surprise. Says Robert Sutton, professor of management science at Stanford University: "If you’re managing a large organization, you’re managing a surprise machine."