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Because we are asking the wrong questions precisely, we are getting the wrong answers precisely; and as a result we are creating false positives.
There seem to be a lot of sightings of “Black Swans” lately. Should we be concerned? Are we wishfully thinking, caught up in media hype? Or are we misinterpreting what a “Black Swan” event really is? The term “Black Swan” has become a popular buzzword for many, including contingency planners, risk managers and consultants. But there is a general lack of knowledge when it comes to rare events with serious consequences. Is your organization plagued by shapeshifters? It is naïve to try to predict the effects of a risk materializing entirely on the basis of relationships observed in historical data, especially highly aggregated historical data, business impact assessments and competitive intelligence research.
Unpredictability is becoming the new norm for business.
Fundamental uncertainties derive from our fragmentary understanding of risk and complex system dynamics and interdependencies. Abundant stochastic variation in risk parameters further exacerbates the ability to assess uncertainties clearly. Uncertainty is not just a single dimension, but also surrounds the potential impacts of forces such as globalization and decentralization, effects of movements of global markets and trade regimes, and the effectiveness and utility of risk identification and control measures such as buffering, use of incentives, or strict regulatory approaches. Crafting difficult decisions when faced with uncertainty requires a blending of skills from strategic planning, risk management, competitive intelligence and business continuity. Unless we change the paradigm of competitive intelligence, risk and business continuity activities, we will continue to get false positives and find ourselves reacting to events instead of being proactive.
- 12 questions to refocus strategy, competitive intelligence, risk and business continuity alignment;
- Overcoming impacts of changing technology and alternative information distribution systems;
- 12 “Shapeshifters” that will influence competitive intelligence, risk and business continuity activities.
Provocateur Biosketch: Geary Sikich – Entrepreneur, consultant, author and business lecturer
Geary Sikich is a seasoned risk management professional who advises private and public sector executives to develop risk buffering strategies to protect their asset base. With a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance, Geary’s focus is human capital: what people think, who they are, what they need and how they communicate. With over 25 years in management consulting as a trusted advisor, crisis manager, senior executive and educator, Geary brings unprecedented value to clients worldwide. He is well-versed in contingency planning, risk management, human resource development, “war gaming,” as well as competitive intelligence, issues analysis, an
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