Outlier (highly improbable) events arguably present challenges for contingency planners in many organizations, and governmental agencies across the world.  Such events have also been called “black swans” – a term which has become a popular buzzword used by many contingency planners, risk managers and business continuity team members in organization throughout the world.

To help our readers better understand these outlier or “black swan” events, we would like to focus their attention to a recent article written by Geary W. Sikich, and posted on the ContinuityCentral website.

In this article Mr. Sikich quotes a definition of a “black swan” according to Nassim Taleb, an author of the book entitled, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.”  That definition reads:  “A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was”.

In this article, Mr. Sikich then goes on to discuss the relevancy of black swans to recent events such as the Icelandic volcano crisis and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Sikich summarizes some final thoughts for consideration, such as:

* If your organization is content with reacting to events it may not fare well;

* Innovative, aggressive thinking is one key to surviving;

* Recognition that theory is limited in usefulness is a key driving force;

* Strategically nimble organizations will benefit;

* Constantly question assumptions about what is ‘normal’.

We believe there is much value to be gained by reading the entire article by Mr. SikichClick here to read his full article.

Please pass this information along to those business continuity, risk management, contingency planning and organizational resiliency team members in your company.

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