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

It was a meeting of the minds: FAIR (Factor Analysis of Information Risk) model creator Jack Jones, who’s dedicated his career advocating for quantitative, critical thinking against the easy-button practices of conventional cyber risk management—and Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, a highly acclaimed book that’s getting renewed buzz as a result of the “unforeseen” coronavirus crisis that was all along like a snorting gray rhino about to charge. Watch this video for a fascinating conversation that will put you on the lookout for gray rhinos in your risk…

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In this podcast, Sami J. Karam speaks to best-selling author Michele Wucker about her 2016 book The Gray Rhino and how its method and lessons apply to the coronavirus pandemic. Gray Rhino threats are highly probable, highly impactful but often neglected until it is too late or until the cost of dealing with them becomes very high. Listen on SOUNDCLOUD or visit Populyst. Topics include: 0:00 Introduction of Michele Wucker 1:05 When will we be able to travel to Asia or Europe again? 3:10 Explaining the concept and examples of Gray Rhino events 9:00 Various reactions to the spread of…

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Why are people so prone to denying instead of dealing with the obvious problems in front of us, whether coronavirus or climate change or financial fragilities? Last week I wrote about the five stages of a gray rhino crisis, the first one being denial. This week I want to dive a lot deeper into denial: Why do we do it? Why are some people more prone to it than others? And most important, how do we snap ourselves and others out of denial as soon as possible? Denial is a powerful force, often rooted in primal emotions. It’s a protective quirk…

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We’ve been seeing a lot of analysis of where the coronavirus could take us, along with some analysis of what different countries are doing to combat it. Response analysis is important because it has a huge impact on the eventual outcome. It’s worth taking more time to think about how each of us is responding along with our organizations and communities, whether those responses are appropriate and adequate, and if not how we can change them for the better. In my book, THE GRAY RHINO, I developed a five-stage framework for analyzing responses to obvious “gray rhino” risks that are more likely…

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Michele Wucker wrote, “No, the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t an ‘unforeseen problem’” in The Washington Post March 17, 2020. “An obsession with the “unforeseeable” black swan metaphor has promoted a mentality that led us straight into the mess we’re in now: a sense of helplessness in the face of daunting threats and a sucker’s mentality that encourages people to keep throwing good money after bad,” she wrote. “And the facile willingness to see crises as black swans has provided policymakers cover for failing to act in the face of clear and present dangers from climate change to health care to economic…

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Michele Wucker was interviewed in the Huffington Post “Why We Panic about the Coronavirus but not about the Climate Crisis,” published on March 13, 2020. “With climate change and the coronavirus, things seem to go slowly until all of a sudden they go fast. While they’re still going slowly is when you have a chance to stop them ― but, of course, people don’t usually act until they are about to get trampled,” she said. “The coronavirus can set a very real example for climate change: The sooner you act, the more chance you have of surviving. This is true…

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Michele Wucker wrote “Is Your Board Risk Ready?” for strategy+business March 11, 2020. “Your company’s board of directors is charged with reviewing all kinds of risks to the corporation. But how well prepared are its members to do so? How ready are directors to evaluate, communicate, and act on risks — and thus to better ensure that their companies are doing a good job? A great deal rides on the answers to these questions. Risk oversight of the boards themselves is what the Conference Board, a business membership and research organization, recently called the “next frontier in corporate governance.” Read…

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This is a strange year for my fifth annual round-up of the things that keep the world’s risk observers up at night. Why? Because the big thing on everyone’s mind right now did not make it on to most lists. That thing is, of course, the novel coronavirus outbreak and its outsized impact on the global economy. Most top-risks-of-the-coming-year lists are designed to attract headlines at a time of year when news is often slow because the world is on holiday or just emerging from it. So most were issued before COVID-19 really took hold. There were some relevant references…

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