Getting Stronger through Stress: Making Black Swans Work for You | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

"...our focus in modern times on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility."



Excerpts - Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: 


...we all need to find ways to harness the power of randomness, volatility and extreme events to help us grow and develop more of our potential.


Focusing on Black Swans


Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about black swans [including] three books: Fooled by RandomnessThe Black Swan and, now, Antifragile.


Black Swans, in Taleb’s parlance, are “large-scale unpredictable and irregular events of massive consequence.’


The latest book focuses on approaches that enable us to thrive from high levels of volatility, and particularly those unexpected extreme events.

It...willl...prove infuriating to most of our economic, educational and political elites, for he argues that these elites have played a major role in making us increasingly vulnerable to volatility and Black Swans.


...The quest for antifragility

The real opportunity, in Taleb’s view, is to learn and grow from volatility and unexpected events – not to return to where you were, but to become even better as a result of the exposure and experience.   


He makes an important point: biological systems in nature are inherently antifragile – they are constantly evolving and growing stronger as a result of random events. In contrast, man-made systems tend to be fragile, they are the ones that have a hard time coping with random events.  


Taleb highlights a key paradox: our focus in modern times on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility.


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