Until the 17th century, Europeans believed that all swans were white. After Australia was discovered, the Europeans had to correct themselves. Black swans are a reality. How do organizations deal with “black swans”?
Organizations tend to reinterpret something unexpected into something expected so that their own image of the world can be confirmed.
Organizations have their own stories and images. The past is taken as a model for the future. Organizations thus create their own construction about reality, often without reference to reality. If there are no “black swans”, then they will not be noticed. The consequences are that phenomena are either not seen or misinterpreted.
The problem of organizational self-reference strikes. Some of the consequences are: financial crisis, misjudgment of risks, unforeseen events with massive consequences. The reality is messy, surprising and unpredictable. Who knows that there is a “black swan” is very critical of the so-called experts and no longer believes that the future can be calculated.
- What can organizations do to recognize the “Black Swan” and respond appropriately?
- How can organizations develop the ability not to talk the “black swan” white?
- What can organizations do to allow a proactive self-renewal process?