• Duncan

Coronavirus is not a black swan

A lot of risk managers are calling coronavirus a black swan event, meaning it to be an unpredictable large-scale event. There are two problems with this.

  1. It was not unforeseeable. The UK’s National Risk Register has included pandemic influenza since 2008. Organisations have had at least a decade to prepare, with outbreaks of MERS, SARS, bird flu and swine flu over recent years to keep disease on the agenda. If organisations haven’t considered it, then that’s been a failure of the risk management team.

  2. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the original quote by Taleb. Just because an event with large consequences was unlikely, that doesn’t make it a black swan.

Be wary of anyone who insists coronavirus is a black swan - they may be using it to cover their own failings or lack of knowledge.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Risk management horror stories

There are plenty of horror stories from the world of risk management out there. I’m not talking about bad decisions, poor strategies, mistakes or accidents, but rather cases where people have not thou

© 2020 Risk Management Ltd 

Registered in Scotland SC618911

Registered office 43 Millside Road, Peterculter, AB14 0WG