… Rhinos, Swans, Hamsters, you name it…
Changes, Changes, Changes and… more Changes…
The IV industrial revolution is here. It goes further and deeper in the society than the previous ones as more people have i.e. internet access to know about it and to take part in it – internet is expanding, artificial intelligence is here, we can’t live without our mobile devices anymore .
The world around us speeds up. There are more and more challenges. And we are up for it!
Our Coping Mechanism
We successfully learn how to navigate through the dynamics of our contemporary world. When we are lost, we react: we perform reality check, reposition, refocus and we move on again. YES, we REACT.
And how good are we actually in knowing how to “PROACT”? Do we know how to be one step ahead of ourselves?
Most of the times we do not know how to start and where to start. Being proactive does not seems to be part of our routine program.
The Zoo around us
So let’s go far back to the year 2001 to shed some light on the situation.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb had formed then a term of a ‘Black Swan‘. On top, Michele Wucker talked about gray rhinos in 2012. “A “Gray Rhino” is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat: kin to both the elephant in the room and the improbable and unforeseeable black swan”.
We can’t do much about Black Swans before they actually happen. But can we do anything to spot our Gray Rhinos before they come?
Like hamsters on the wheel
In every day life (routine?), many times we are like hamsters on the wheel – keeping up with things. Despite constant and restless run, the wheel gives us the comfort of repetition, sense of control and predictability. We are focused on following our daily tasks and on firefighting the situations that happen.
It is in our hands to chose how to react consciously to a situation. By nature we are moving between Drama and Situation in the DiSCO, that looks as follows:
- Drama: situations happens, emotions kick in and we need to blame someone or something
- Information: we try or we don’t try to get further information about the situation
- Situation: damage control mode is on, we try to fix the situation as soon as possible without too much thinking and reflecting
…. and then: FULL STOP!!! ….
This is the point where we normally stop. We get caught up in details and we do not move any further. We are stuck and we go in circles (routine!!). We are hamsters on the wheel all the time.
And eventually we are out of breath, not really knowing what is going on around us. Therefore we are not able to proactively see gray rhinos around us until their impact hits us.
We need to stop and think.
In order to progress beyond this point, we need to ask ourselves: What is actually going on here?
“Sounds banal, but it is not. […] people immersed in technicalities, engaged in day-to-day preoccupations, have failed to stand back and ask: “What is (actually) going on here?”John Kay and Mervin King in their book “Radical Uncertainty”
Now let’s reflect.
- Choice: It is our choice. Who do we choose to be in this situation? What approach do we want to take towards this topic/situation?
- Opportunity: What’s the opportunity for us here? What is happening? What is a new area to explore? What different solution could feel like and be like? Who could help me here?
Break the pattern!! Let’s go full scale DiSCO!!!! Change the routine to become proactive rather than remaining reactive. Face it instead of neglecting it.
Not only you will be able to spot and face some of gray rhinos coming towards you, but also you may have a sense of accomplishment and freedom thanks to choosing your options and driving your reality.
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12th of August – International Elephant Day 🙂