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

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-04-05
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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A "gray rhino" is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat: kin to both the elephant in the room and the improbable and unforeseeable black swan. Gray rhinos are not random surprises, but occur after a series of warnings and visible evidence. The bursting of the housing bubble in 2008, the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, the new digital technologies that upended the media world, the fall of the Soviet Union...all were evident well in advance.
Why do leaders and decision makers keep failing to address obvious dangers before they spiral out of control? Drawing on her extensive background in policy formation and crisis management, as well as in-depth interviews with leaders from around the world, Michele Wucker shows in The Gray Rhino how to recognize and strategically counter looming high impact threats. Filled with persuasive stories, real-world examples, and practical advice, The Gray Rhino is essential reading for managers, investors, planners, policy makers, and anyone who wants to understand how to profit by avoiding getting trampled.

Author Biography

Michele Wucker is Vice President of Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Previously, she was President of the World Policy Institute in New York. Wucker is a 2009 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow. She also is the author of Lockout and Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola. She lives in Chicago.

Table of Contents

1. Meet the Gray Rhino
2. The Problem with Predictions: Unleashing Denial
3. Denial: Why We Miss Seeing Rhinos and Don't Get Out of Their Way
4. Muddling: Why We Don't Act Even When We See the Rhino
5. Diagnosing: Right and Wrong Solutions
6. Panic: Decision-Making Facing a Charging Rhino
7. Action: The "Aha" Moment
8. After the Trampling: A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
9. Rhinos on the Horizon: Thinking Long-Term
10. Conclusion: How to Keep from Getting Run Over by a Rhino
End Notes

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