The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore

Michele Wucker. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-05382-4
Wucker (Lockout) introduces a variation on risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s concept of the black swan, a term for outlier events that are hard to anticipate and harder to plan for. This book looks, instead, at events that should have been predicted, like the 2008 financial crisis. Enter the gray rhino, “a highly probable, high-impact threat: something we ought to see coming.” Wucker believes that the problem is systemic: the political and financial world rewards short-term thinking, and it’s difficult for institutions to pivot quickly when necessary. With so many recent examples of failures to respond to obvious threats, we should have a better handle on why we miss them, but cognitive biases make this difficult. Wucker explores the denial that keeps us from seeing threats, the panic that occurs when we don’t make decisions in time, and ways to implement solutions and take reparative action “after the trampling.” This helpful guide to getting out of your own way long enough to see the rhino charging over the hill will be useful reading for managers, entrepreneurs, and risk takers of all stripes. Agent: Andre Stuart, Stuart Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2016
Release date: 04/05/2016
Ebook - 978-1-4668-8700-8
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