The top right hand quadrant of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report is home to highly likely, high impact dangers that have not been resolved: climate change, weapons of mass destruction, water scarcity, mass forced migration, and energy price shocks. All too often, policy and business leaders neglect risks like these even after recognizing them.
I call these risks “Gray Rhinos”: large, dangerous and heading straight for us. Unlike a certain large fowl that people can only envision if it’s the right colour, black rhinos are no more black in colour than white rhinos are white. They are all grey: something that is so obvious, yet too often missed.
Since I introduced the concept of the Gray Rhino at a Thinking Ahead talk at Davos in 2013, conversations with leaders around the world have helped me develop a framework to understand the progression of Gray Rhinos and strategies for overcoming them. This framework can improve our ability to confront large-scale risks in business, organizations and policy-making.
I’ve expanded the concept for the World Economic Forum Agenda, applying the Gray Rhino framework to the top 10 risks for 2016 identified in the Global Risks Report. Read more HERE.