Black Swans Grey Swans White Swans Vigilance


By: Geary Sikich

We hear a lot about things that are being called “Black Swans” today thanks to Nassim Taleb and his extremely successful book, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” now in its second edition. I have written several articles centering on the “Black Swan” phenomenon; defending, clarifying and analyzing the nature of “Black Swan” events. And, I am finding that wildly improbable events are becoming perfectly routine events.

What this means is that businesses and governments need to be even more vigilant in their prosecution of enterprise risk management initiatives. Private and Public Sector operations are complex and becoming more complex as more entrants to the global marketplace compete for fewer and fewer available resources at an ever quickening pace.

So, is society, as we know it, on the verge of collapse, destruction, another stone-age? Seems that you cannot turn on a television, radio or the plethora of personal communication devices available without headlines screaming at you about people with Molotov cocktails, car bombs, murders, floods, fires, car crashes, riots and, celebrities gone wrong. Sovereign nations are going bankrupt, sabers are being rattled; how you might ask, is it all going to end?

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