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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Unknown Silent Heroes - Why we worship Crisis Managers

In his absolutely fascinating new book "Black Swan" the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb of "Fooled by Randomness" fame describes a Thought experiment (for those who want to know what is a thought experiment please click) asking us to go back to September 10, 2001.

Assume someone enacts a law to impose a continuously locked bullet proof cockpits in all aeroplanes. 9/11 would not have happened, however, the guy who came out with this scheme would have been most likely asked to leave the office and would have been severely criticised for wasting taxpayers money.

However it would have made 9/11 an unknown failure.

Is there a genetic defect in all of us that we want to be crisis mode, we want crisis managers instead of crisis avoiders. In fact, the crisis avoiders are considered risk avoiders hence boring guys. We love crisis managers - may be this is the reason we let crisis happen and then manage.

However, Nassim says in fact we are not aware of the uncertain events which are the main reasons we get shocks of our lives when a fundamentally different event - the black swan - emerges and we falter. May be he has a point saying," may be our minds were not made to think and introspect" - "we have a wrong user's manual"? Wow!

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