Author: Michele Wucker

Michele Wucker is a policy and business strategist and author of four books including YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World and the global bestseller THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. Read more about her at https://www.thegrayrhino.com/about/michelewucker

You know the story of Chicken Little, who got hit in the head by an acorn and was sure that the sky was falling. Of course, it wasn’t. It was just an acorn. Or you may know Chicken Little as Henny Penny or Chicken Licken; there are many variations of the folk tale going back 2500 years. We’re all different in the ways we respond to the probable but often overlooked, downplayed, or outright ignored problems that I call “gray rhinos”: they’re charging right at us, but we don’t always see them or react properly. Chicken Littles are just one…

Read More

You may recall a spike in Google searches for “What’s the European Union?” after British citizens voted in June to leave the EU. When I woke up in London the morning of November 9th, Londoners, no doubt feeling a bit smug now that the US has had its own ballot-box surprise, quipped that the most googled query in the United States that morning was “What is the US President?” Back in the USA after a extended trip to Europe, I’ve found people don’t laugh nearly as hard as Brits did; nor, do I suspect, did the British find as much humor…

Read More

I went to sleep in London last night making the reasonable assumption that the election would bear out the predictions of many polls. Like so many people, how wrong I was. I’m in London for the BCI World Summit, where I delivered the opening keynote address yesterday morning. Over the afternoon and evening, conversations between sessions often turned to Trump. People wanted to know: Was Trump a gray rhino or black swan? I define gray rhinos as highly probable, high impact threats. Trump’s candidacy and initial success started as a highly improbable black swan. But, like most black swans, it was…

Read More

Did you know that Ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand? They lower their heads to the sand to scoop up sand and pebbles to help them digest. They also dig holes in the ground to bury their eggs. But a little poetic license never hurt anyone. Facts notwithstanding, the Ostrich with its head in the sand remains a powerful metaphor in the English language, and an important cautionary tale. We’re all different in the ways we respond to the probable but often overlooked, downplayed, or outright ignored problems that I call “gray rhinos.” Take the Gray Rhino…

Read More

We’re all different in the ways we respond to obvious threats -the big scary things coming at us like a rhinoceros. Take the Gray Rhino Quiz to find out how well you deal with the obvious dangers in your life, work and in the world around you. I call these probable but often overlooked problems “gray rhinos” because Black rhinos are not actually black, White rhinos are not actually white -their names are inaccurate because they miss the obvious fact that they are all gray. Some of us are just the right amount of prepared, like Game Wardens. Some of…

Read More

In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder Neetal Parekh talks to Michele Wucker, an International Affairs Expert and Author of The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. Neetal explores: Why do leaders and decision makers sometimes fail to address the obvious dangers before they spiral out of control? Neetal talks to Michele Wucker, a thought leader in this space, about an actionable framework to address these dangers. Listen and/or read a summary HERE.

Read More

Welcome to my new blog, The Horn. Yes, pun intended. A rhino wouldn’t be a rhino without growing a horn. But a horn, in a completely different sense, also is a way to communicate. That’s the way this new blog uses it. I’ll be writing here about the gray rhinos -the obvious but unresolved and often all but ignored threats facing the world, companies, and individuals- and about strategies for dealing with them before they trample us. Posts will include annual reviews of the top global risks compiled and filtered from the best top global risks lists and thinkers. I’ll…

Read More

At the end of the third quarter, Europe risks are rising again with Italy’s constitutional referendum, a wobbly pound, and the resumed IMF-EU tug-of-war over Greek debt forgiveness. The danger level in the Middle East is up as well following the collapse of another Syrian cease-fire and dramatic downturn in US-Russia relations.

Read More

Welcome to My Gray Rhino, a new blog featuring behavioral strategies to help you to head off the obvious problems that don’t get the attention you know they should. The image of the bird on the rhino’s tush, taken by a friend on safari, seemed appropriate to me for this blog. That little bird OWNS the rhino. The running theme of this blog is individuals, leaders, and experts who have a thing or to to share about owning your gray rhinos -ideally before you get trampled, but also about learning from experience when you do get trampled. I’ve asked for…

Read More