Yesterday I wrote about a white paper “Black Swans Turn Grey” from PwC. Here’s a footnote to that post.
I had a good chuckle when I read about these “new black swan risks”. The authors suggest that all these unknown unknowns and unpredictable events are happening more frequently these days. This of course is not true.
We are seeing the same sort of thing in the NHL with respect to concussions. For the longest time players have been getting concussions; the only difference is that now more players, coaches and people in the media are paying attention to them. Whereas a player might have been undiagnosed and complained about headaches 20 years ago, today the league is taking it more seriously. Same goes for these black swan risks.
I imagine people are having one of those moments like in the film Field of Dreams where Timothy Busfield’s character suddenly sees the dead baseball players and asks how long they have been there. Truth was they players were there the whole time; but it wasn’t until that moment when he finally believed that he truly saw them.
Same goes for those risks. They have always been there. It is only with increased awareness of risk management that folks are starting to see them.
(Fast forward to 2:40 of the video link.)