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The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  27 reviews

A "gray rhino" is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat: kin to both the elephant in the room and the improbable and unforeseeable black swan. Gray rhinos are not random surprises, but occur after a series of warnings and visible evidence. The bursting of the housing bubble in 2008, the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters,

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Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Austin Bowman
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michele Wucker describes her book, The Gray Rhino, as a corollary to Nassim Nicholas Talebs book, The Black Swan, and after finishing it I have to agree. Talebs book brought insightful analysis to Black Swans, and how highly improbable events can have extreme consequences. In The Gray Rhino, Wucker explains how highly probable events are often ignored usually resulting in disastrous consequences. She creates a taxonomy of Gray Rhinoshelping readers understand the prevalence of Rhinos out there ...more
Andrew Schulman
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd been looking for a book to help me understand the overwhelming world we've been living in for some time now, overwhelming because of the information overload. It's a timely book given that the orange rhino is about to become president. I found it very helpful because Wucker gives examples - Enron, the 2008 recession, to name two huge calamities - and other situations where the right things were done to avert calamity. The most important aspect of the book for me was it gave me both a ...more
Ranting Wright
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book blew my mind.

A Gray Rhino is a recognizable and often avoidable threat which is nonetheless ignored and allowed to become an overwhelming disaster. Michele Wucker carefully and intelligently details the five stages and nine configurations involved in Gray Rhino identification, but for simplicitys sake I would say that Gray Rhinos are all those crises that are obvious and platitudinous. Gum disease, animal extinction, home repair, climate change, housing bubbles, recessions, natural
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Danielle
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At its most basic level, The Gray Rhino explores highly probably, high-impact, yet neglected threats. Masterfully weaving together real world examples and interviews with behavioral economic theory, Wucker explores how we, again and again, fail to act in situations involving obvious (and probable) dangers.

Taken as a whole, however, this book is really an instructional manual for how leaders at every level can make better decisionsthe kind of decisions that produce positive and sustainable
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David
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
we do not need a book to tell us that rhino is in front of us, if we do, then it means most of us are ether too dumb to notice nor too ignorant..BUT it is also true the above 2 scenarios are true...we knew it, but we did not do anything about it. Author was wrong about Black Swans as highly improbable but Rhino is highly probable...this is a major flaw against Taleb because probabilities according to Taleb are always there, but we ignore it, so when it hits, it hits BIG..so it is always there ...more
Kuszma
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Van egy erénye ennek a könyvnek: Taleb fekete hattyú-jelenségével polemizál. Az említett kultikus kötet ugyanis azt állítja, hogy léteznek ún. fekete hattyúk, olyan előre nem kalkulálható válságok, amik fenekestül felforgatják a világot, és senki nem látja őket előre az egyetlen védekezés ellenük a rugalmas alapok kiépítése meg a friss gondolkodás, úgyhogy a kockázatbecslők meg a statisztikusok menjenek el inkább angóranyulat tenyészteni, úgy több hasznukat vesszük. Wucker ezzel szemben azt ...more
Kathy Heare Watts
I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a business organization that offers business skills, hope, and dreams to be used in their ministry.
Margaret Sankey
This is popular business psychology, identifying gray rhinos as the opposite of black swans--very dangerous but persistent and obvious situations that we ignore. Wucker's examples are largely from from business meltdowns, but the overall conclusions are (unfortunately) ones that not even seeking profitability can challenge groupthink, cultivate a culture that protects whistleblowers, prompt institutions to value diverse input or put fixing systemic problems above less expensively patching the ...more
Ian yarington
I was in my early twenties when I was watching CSPAN and saw that the republican lead senate and house cut funding to the FEMA, among other things. I always wondered how they could do that and wondered what would happen if something catastrophic happened. I got my answer a few months later when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. This book fascinates me because the idea behind ignorance is what I just don't understand.
Karen Cornwell
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gray Rhino is an incredibly eye-opening book. "Recognizing the quirks of human nature that shape our decisions has the power to change our actions." Michele delves deep into the human psyche to help us understand why we ignore the Gray Rhino and offers great advice on how we can recognize and change our collective path. She even offers a taxonomy of Rhinos including strategies to tackle each of them.

I was surprised to find my topic, the gender gap, to be categorized as a Meta-Rhino but
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Anne Janzer
Wow, is this book ever relevant and timely. Wucker takes us on a tour of metaphorical gray rhinos - highly probable, high-impact threats that we would all much rather ignore. Having read the book, I see them everywhere. Yet the message is ultimately one of optimism. Wucker presents a plan for recognizing and avoiding the many gray rhinos threatening us on a global level, in business, and even our personal lives. Let's all get this message out, and learn to be rhino spotters.

ALONZO WIND
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Situational awareness

A solid work which I enjoyed reading. An update or sequel I understand may be in the offing which would be good. While some things are OBE it remains a worthwhile investment of time and money to consider how the principles likely apply to aspects of your professional and personal life.
Casey
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was initially excited read the book because its initial premise is spot on. Unfortunately it seemed like it turned into a long winded review of Black Swan and needless off base stories.

I skipped to the 2nd and later chapters hoping to escape the constant references to Taleb's book but they were there as well. Oh well..... Some of the author's other titles seem interesting.
Misti Townsend
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dry at times, but shocking and difficult to put down in others. Great book for recognizing cultural and personal cognitive biases plaguing societies and the entities within, as well as for encouraging strategic thinking in relation to business, governments, society and world concerns.
Lorenzo Barberis Canonico
Wucker is encyclopedic in her knowledge of crisis management, and, unlike Taleb, she writes very well. The book offers an alternative take on Talebs black swan theory insofar as it emphasizes addressing crises that we are aware of and yet fail to address because of maladaptive biases. ...more
Jaime Hills
I listened to Michele Wickers TED talk and was excited to read this book and learn more about the concept of a Gray Rhino.

Unfortunately, I am left disappointed. Much of what is in the book is succinctly explained in her sub 20 minute talk, and so I found the book to drag on. Several economic examples were given for a concept that should only need one or two, and the language is frustrating to decipher.

I really appreciate the concept of the book, but found the actual copy difficult to get
...more
新 赵
May 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just wonder why the author of this book use so long a book to elaborate such a simple topic. I felt very boring and time-wasting to read this shallow and deliberately mystifying book.
MJH
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Make sure to take notes,
InvestingByTheBooks.com
Language commends a powerful grip over the mind. That which we have no words for hides in the shade while an expression like for example the black swan as popularized by Nassim Taleb spurs discussion around the subject at hand. In this book the Chicago based journalist, author and opinion maker Michele Wucker launches the concept of a gray rhino as a highly probable and largely predictable, high-impact, yet willfully neglected threat. The question the book tries to answer is why decision makers ...more
Navdeep Pundhir
Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Gray Rhino- How to recognize and act on the obvious dangers we ignore: Michele Wucker
Post financial crisis, a lot of new words and phrases have been incorporated in our jargons; too big to fail, fat tail, black swan etc. The Gray Rhino is the latest edition to this already fancy zoo-ish niche.
So what is a gray rhino? Michele Wucker begins her narrative with the analogy of a man trying to click a picture of a baby rhino in the wilds of Africa. In an epic case of negligence fuelled by
...more
Mike
May 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you've read several books on behavioral economics this book might not be worth the 7 to 11 hours of reading time. If it was a 100 pages shorter without losing the following concepts, this book would be a strong recommendation.

- Threats, such as pandemics, bridges in need of repair, Global Warming or heart failure because of over-eating, are likely and obvious threats ("Gray Rhinos")
- Avoid group think (variety of people/sexes/personalities are better at generating different ideas, or
...more
Robert
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of the The Gray Rhino seems obvious, but that is kind of the point. Almost all of us face obvious risks that we choose to ignore for a variety of reasons. The usual response is to muddle along and hope the rhino veers off into someone else's path. Sometimes you get lucky, but often you pay a much heftier price than you would have paid to deal with the problem when you first recognized its seriousness.

Michele provides a handy taxonomy for categorizing these risks, complemented by a
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Tirath
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The key message was loud and clear. But it didnt warrant a book.

Very often, we ignore or procrastinate about a big, clear, looming danger that is quite evident - such as climate change, bad roads, poor quality car, too much debt in a company, competitive disadvantages, moody dictators - - and yet, people believe that things will stay fine; Or
That we will get out of this before the bad actually happens.

My key takeaway is that when bad stuff is evident - move forward but with caution.
And if one
...more
Kathy Heare Watts
I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. I am paying it forward by passing this book along to a business organization that offers business skills, hope, and dreams to be used in their ministry.
Raq
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most important book I'll read this year.
Ping
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great to book to read. Lean & think. I do not think I can be great and change a lot, but just very a litte is big value from this book.
Keradee
rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2016
Allan Qian
rated it it was ok
Oct 17, 2017
Lauren
rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2018
Victor Samuel
rated it it was ok
Jan 23, 2018
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Michele Wucker is the author of THE GRAY RHINO, LOCKOUT and of WHY THE COCKS FIGHT. She has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and as a Guggenheim Fellow.

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