Michele Wucker: Why we ignore obvious problems -- and how to act on them
Michele Wucker coined the term "gray rhino" as a metaphor for obvious risks that are neglected despite -- in fact, often because of -- their size and likelihood. Full bio
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a highly obvious problem
within your power to fix things
than any of us would like to admit
to turn away from things
that they represent to us,
from my world, economic policy.
was head of the Federal Reserve,
for problems in the US economy
didn't spin out of control.
respected leaders and institutions
and dangerous market bubbles.
it all came tumbling down.
lost nearly half their value,
lost their homes to foreclosure.
was out of work.
came out with a postmortem and said,
nearly doubled in value
and I sold it.
also saw the warning,
what the crisis was going to look like,
was as dangerous, visible and predictable
charging right at us.
power over our futures.
that we think we have,
masks another problem:
that we're facing
but we still don't do anything about.
that people had for the black swan,
that were highly obvious,
is another big gray rhino,
in the last 10 years.
to Washington or Wall Street,
that only smooth sailing laid ahead.
Xi Jinping himself,
systems of government,
they're able to do or not.
for their economic problems
that both countries have problems
and with economic productivity.
are so different?
to recall their shoddy cars
in preparing for the inevitable --
chiseled into the gravestone.
on the other side,
their final affairs in order,
for decades and decades
between one side and the other?
see things and deal with them,
with culture, society,
pick you up when you fall,
to see a danger as being smaller.
good chances, not just the bad ones.
that nobody wants you to talk about.
that are kind of scary,
individualist culture -- go it alone.
much less open to change
is going to keep problems from happening,
but people believe it.
on their families,
to take certain risks.
that they need to change direction,
is absolutely amazing.
even when it's not what you want?
that we just want to black out,
what we like, what we agree with.
and the ability
talking with people of all walks of life
and their attitudes.
who are more afraid of risk,
who would be less open to change.
the problems around them
to tolerate more risk, good risk,
about the things that we're afraid of.
it can feel so big,
could make a difference.
he's not ever going to give up his SUV
coal plants in China.
to change our attitudes,
an open and honest conversation
about how well we're dealing with them.
deal with obvious problems,
what's in front of you,
and I could not disagree more.
that shared vulnerability,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERMichele Wucker - Author, policy analyst
Michele Wucker coined the term "gray rhino" as a metaphor for obvious risks that are neglected despite -- in fact, often because of -- their size and likelihood.
Why you should listen
Michele Wucker's term "gray rhino" has moved markets and shaped financial policies around the world. She is the author of the international bestseller The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, which China's leadership has used to frame and communicate its efforts to crack down on financial risk.
Drawing on three decades of experience in financial media and think tank management, turnarounds and policy analysis, Wucker is founder of the Chicago-based strategy firm Gray Rhino & Company, which helps organizations to better manage gray rhino risks. She speaks regularly on risk management, leadership, macro strategy and decision-making for high-level global audiences. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors.
Wucker's first two books, Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right and Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola, continue to influence policy debates.
Michele Wucker | Speaker | TED.com