November 9, 2004
News & Opinion: Wild Cards
The part of book that caught my interest was a section where he talk about "wild cards". Laudicina uses a definition created by John L. Petersen - "[Wild cards are] low-probability, extremely high-impact events that are potentially disruptive (negatively or positively), rapidly moving, global in scope, and intrinsically beyond the control of any institution, group, or individual."
Here are some examples:
- Global Epidemic - A 1991 cholera outbreak in Peru cost the country $770 million. A 1994 plague outbreak in Surat cost India $2 billion. During the SARS outbreak, HSBC began using back-up trading floors that were originally intended for use during fires or earthquakes.
- Country Disintegration - Consider Saudi Arabia. The control 25% of the world proven oil reserves. The country's unemployment is over 20% and there is no clear line of succession for a king who is over 80 years old.
- Terrorist Resurgence - Need I say more?
- Hacker Hell - After the Sasser worm stuck in 2004, branches of Westpac Bank in Australia had to rely on pen and paper to keep trading
- Quantum Leap - What is possible as computers and biotech continue to bring innovation.
Have you included any of these in your strategic plan?
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.