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Pushing Perfection Past the Limit

Tuesday’s train accident in Japan which killed 78 and injured about 440, reminded me of April’s Next lead essay, “The Performance Paradox.” It seems that the accident may have been caused by the train’s driver speeding to make up time in order to keep Japan’s rail system running like clockwork. As Jena McGregor pointed out in her essay, “inevitably, the exceptional becomes the expected.” In rushing to maintain the status quo, is this what happens when you’re running late in a system that demands punctuality? How can you build in tolerance for less-then-perfect results?