Lesson from Trump’s Black Swan Election – Always Have a Back-up Plan
A week ago, Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States.
It’s since become painfully evident that many many people were not only surprised by this, they had not considered it a realistic possibility.
And so they had not planned for a Trump administration on an organizational level.
(Note: I work in DC in public relations and lobbying – it matters here on a day-to-day level.)
We now see this was a mistake.
But the takeaway is clear:
Always have a back-up plan.
Or preferably, multiple back-up plans.
In business school, we called this scenario planning. You don’t present the client with a plan, you present the client with multiple plans – different solutions for different conditions – everything from budget sensitivities to personnel changes, to Black Swan events.
“Black Swan” isn’t just the title of an amazing Darren Aronofsky film. In finance parlance, it refers to a “long-tail” event – an outcome so far down the probability curve that its chance of occurring is vanishingly slim. These eve