MARCH 2017

China's Gray Rhinos

I am so excited to share with you that Citic Publishing Group has just released THE GRAY RHINO  in China to a flurry of media coverage. This article from Sohu does a wonderful job of applying the concept to artificial intelligence and digitization. (Use your browser to translate.)

When I started the project and was brainstorming with friends, one of the first examples that came up of a successful wrangling of highly probable, high impact gray rhinos was Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform project. Some of the interviews in the book took place in China at the "Summer Davos" meeting of the World Economic Forum. China, of course, is at the forefront of dealing with some of the biggest global gray rhinos: climate change and the environment, economic imbalances, demographic shifts. So present-day China plays an important role in the book.
The country’s approach has been fascinating: a mix of state planning and market mechanisms, using medium and long term planning based on metrics rather than Soviet-styles specific prescriptions, heavy investment in clean energy, and conscious efforts to rebalance the economy to decrease reliance on exports and to increase consumer participation and domestic consumption.
But if China has been forward looking, its challenges are daunting, as its efforts to deal with pollution have shown, and because of the sheer size of its population and economy. When I compiled and filtered analysts’ top risks lists for the year ahead, China had risen to a second place rank for both economic and political concerns, particularly in light of the hawkish stance of the White House and of the upcoming 19th Party Congress. Political change always brings uncertainty. Yet many of the analysts I respect believe that China will succeed in muddling through. I'll be watching closely and writing more about this in coming months.
There's a passage in THE GRAY RHINO about the importance of long-term thinking and about the many Asian companies that have been around for a century more, and actively apply strategies that look toward the future –some as long as 200 or 300 years ahead. What a welcome contrast to the short termism that prevails in the United States.
I believe that this greater emphasis on the long term is part of why Asian audiences have identified so strongly with the messages in the book.
When a reporter for a Chinese magazine asked me yesterday how I thought businesses in China might apply the lessons in THE GRAY RHINO, I responded that the recommendations for long-term strategic thinking were particularly well suited to companies not only in China but all across Asia. The bigger challenge –and thus the most important takeaway– will be to strengthen decision making processes by bringing in more diverse perspectives.
The reception of the book in the region overall has been amazing, with great news coverage not only of the China edition but also of the Korean version from Business Books & Co. The Taiwan edition comes out this spring via Commonwealth. A friend recently saw the book in the New Delhi airport.
I have always thought of THE GRAY RHINO as the beginning of a conversation that goes beyond what’s between the front and back covers of the book. In my travels later this year, I’m very much looking forward to hearing more from companies in Asia about what has resonated most with them, and how they are applying the concepts in the book. I’ll be sure to share with you what I learn.

Speaking to NYU Europe in the 21st Century class


3 Reasons You Haven't Created a Will
By Maran Hanley, My Gray Rhino, March 8, 2017

Check out these statistics: 49% of Americans don’t exercise regularly; 70% of Americans don’t floss daily; 64% of Americans don’t have a will. What holds you back from doing what you know you need to do, and how can you change it?

Black Swan vs Gray Rhino
Maeil Business News (Korea), February 24, 2017
In this cover story, Youn Soon Young interviews Michele Wucker about The Gray Rhino. (Use your browser to translate)

The Top Gray Rhino Risks of 2017
By Michele Wucker, The Horn, February 15, 2017

For the second year in a row, I’ve sorted through lists of predictions and top geo-political and geo-economic “gray rhino” risks: the highly obvious, probable threats that may or may not be getting the attention and responses they need to be averted.

The Gray Rhino Method Workshop

The Shift Chicago
Registration Required
4101 North Broadway
April 11, 6:30-8:30 pm

Join the first public workshop designed to apply the gray rhino concept to challenges and opportunities in daily life, business, and community.

CFA Institute Annual Conference

70th CFA Institute Annual Conference
Conference Registration required
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
May 21, 3:30 p.m.
Order your copy of THE GRAY RHINO. For bulk purchases please contact Karlyn Hixson at St Martin's Press. To order a personalized bookplate insert, email with the name of the person to whom you'd like the book signed and we'll email you a personal inscription that you can print on an A4 label or cut out and paste. For 3 or more copies, include your snail mail address and we'll send hard copies plus bookmarks to go along with the autograph.
I've gotten so many compliments about my intrepid scheduling assistant, Clara. A few of you have ventured the question I suspect others want to ask: "I can't tell... is she human or AI?" Clara's the best of both: an artificial intelligence algorithm with human backup. Use my affiliate referral link to get a two week free trial and a $100 credit when you subscribe.
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