Posts tagged risk

LinkedIn Editor’s Pick: From Black Swans to Gray Rhinos

LinkedIn Black Swan Gray Rhino

September 2, 2016

The European Union has known since the creation of the euro that the currency was bound for trouble if did not create workable ways to adjust for the wide differences among its national economies. Yet well into its second decade, its failure to do so threatens the currency’s future. The deadly defects in ignition switches and airbags at General Motors and Takata, and the emissions test fixing at Volkswagen were hardly a secret inside the companies, which covered them up instead of correcting them. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change caused by human activity, temperatures keep rising, with this July marking the hottest month ever recorded.

The reasons are different in each case, but the pattern is the same: humans consistently fail to respond to looming dangers, at astronomical costs in lives, money, reputation, and lost opportunities. Once you start looking at how many crises began with clear but essentially ignored warning signals, it becomes strikingly clear how often we miss opportunities to head off predictable problems.

Too many people take for granted that we cannot react in time to change the course of the disasters even when they are right in front of us. It’s well past time to challenge this assumption.

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strategy+business: Talk My Book

When I was in New York City recently, I sat down with Dan Gross to record the inaugural “Talk My Book” podcast on strategy+business, talking about how to avoid gray rhinos. Listen HERE.

strategy+business Talk My Book

Seeking Alpha: From Black Swans to Gray Rhinos

Was the Brexit vote a highly improbable black swan or an obvious gray rhino?

Read my thoughts on Seeking Alpha July 1, 2016, to find out.

SA Black Swan to Gray Rhino

 

World Economic Forum Agenda: The Gray Rhinos of 2016

The top right hand quadrant of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report is home to highly likely, high impact dangers that have not been resolved: climate change, weapons of mass destruction, water scarcity, mass forced migration, and energy price shocks. All too often, policy and business leaders neglect risks like these even after recognizing them.

I call these risks “Gray Rhinos”: large, dangerous and heading straight for us. Unlike a certain large fowl that people can only envision if it’s the right colour, black rhinos are no more black in colour than white rhinos are white. They are all grey: something that is so obvious, yet too often missed.

Since I introduced the concept of the Gray Rhino at a Thinking Ahead talk at Davos in 2013, conversations with leaders around the world have helped me develop a framework to understand the progression of Gray Rhinos and strategies for overcoming them. This framework can improve our ability to confront large-scale risks in business, organizations and policy-making.

I’ve expanded the concept for the World Economic Forum Agenda, applying the Gray Rhino framework to the top 10 risks for 2016 identified in the Global Risks Report. Read more HERE.

Confronting a Superstorm of Challenges: A New American Grand Strategy

I was honored to moderate this year’s Tisch Forum on Public Health at Hunter College Roosevelt House, “Confronting a Superstorm of Challenges: A New American Grand Strategy,” on November 18, 2013.

 

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Davos 2013: Black Swans and Gray Rhinos

Gray Rhinos are highly probable, high impact crises. Introducing a framework for dealing with these seemingly obvious but nevertheless very poorly handled events, I delivered this address at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2013.


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