Black Swans: Resilience and the Unthinkable
The term Black Swan is used for very low probability but high consequence events. Black Swan events are inherently difficult to predict or prevent and can result in truly catastrophic outcomes. Some forms of terrorist attack, natural and man-made disaster and economic failure can be defined as Black Swan events; the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the 2004 Asian Tsunami are two examples.
More common and better understood events, such as wildfire and flood, receive more emergency management funding and are more often the focus of community preparedness education, policy and planning.
The Black Swan concept challenges us to think about the unthinkable. To consider events that may be inconceivable or at least highly unlikely. If common risk and emergency management approaches are inadequate, how do we identify potential Black Swans? This work will help you as a manager and leader build resilient communities and organisations that are able to survive through unexpected events.