Use Swiss Cheese Model To Avoid Deal Catastrophe

A helicopter crashed through the roof of a packed Glasgow pub a Friday or two ago.

Whilst victims remained entombed rolling news provided incessant coverage. One talking head ‘expert’ wheeled on to the scene was asked to speculate as to the cause of the catastrophe. Despite several other such experts flatly refusing to do so and berating the presenters for the inappropriateness of their questioning.

When pushed to breaking point, one in particular did mention the “Swiss cheese model“. He explained this in terms of an air crash rarely being down to a single fault. Usually, one thing wrong leads into another thing wrong until several collide and coincide to bring about disaster.

He described how this occurs as like having several different slices of Swiss cheese where the holes suddenly line up.

I feel this is pretty much what happens in a complex bid that doesn’t come in.

Something clearly goes awry on a deal. You sense it. You just know it has happened. A chain reaction seems mystically to be set in motion. You flail to rectify. Yet things seem to be moving ever farther off-track.

It strikes me that any rudimentary lost deal analysis (although I appreciate such are rarely truly objective) should highlight the crucial places where the Swiss holes are likely to first appear.

Understand them. Plan to stop them materialising. And at the very least know what to do in advance if one does.

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