Urgent Evoke

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Black swan Initiative - Finding Negative Disruptor's for Social Innovators before they find you

Hello Agents,

Social innovators face many challenges to their work – economic, political, security, technological, and even cultural.  These forces are mostly viewed as external to the organization or the individuals; however there are internal disruptor's or “Black Swans” (1) that can occur within the organization itself.  

These internal black swans can be just as problematic as external black swans to the life of a organization, let alone getting social innovation done. 

I have created this blog as a forum to encourage frank examination, discussion, and hopefully formulate possible solutions to these disruptors. 

Forearmed is forewarned as they say.

Now we won’t be able to anticipate every Black Swan that comes our way, but the ones we can identify thereby removes them  from the black swan category.  The result is one less unexpected problem we have to deal with. 







(1)  Black Swan - The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by epistemologist Nassim Nicholas Taleb.color:black"">  Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as "black
swans" — undirected and unpredicted.


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Good question. What I take away from Taleb is that you need resilience built into the system. While you can't speculate on specific disruptions to your organization, you can think about types of disruption. For example, loss of a key player (you don't need to know why you'd lose a key player or which key player as long as you have systems in place to recover). Or dispute over mission or loss of credibility or etc.

I'd also think that any large problem can be frequently broken down into smaller problems so that you can train and prepare for a range of smaller problems without knowing what the big problem will be.

(I heard Taleb at a conference and their were a bunch of bankers in the room. Taleb talked about the inevitability of black swans, but the unknowability of what the precise black swan would be. Of course, all the finance people kept trying to get him to speculate on "really, what is the next black swan" - no surprise about the credit crisis.)


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