Black Swans is a member-based organisation that provides players exclusively for Torquepoint business war games. Co-founded by the same people behind Torquepoint, the Black Swans provide the 'market elements' of the games in roles ranging from competitors to customers, media and government agencies. They are selected and trained to explore and test our clients' strategies to see if they have the resilience to withstand 'Black Swan' events.
The name was influenced by Taleb's 2007 book 'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.' It refers to events that are rare and unpredictable but which have a profound and extreme impact. There is a tendency by many, in retrospect, to attribute simplistic explanations to these events.
WHO ARE THEY?
Can you think of someone in your organisation who has done it all in terms of qualifications, courses and experience? Perhaps you're that person? What on earth do you do to develop them and where do self-employed specialists go to further their professional skills? Often, the answer is simply to spend the annual training budget on a conference. Black Swans are these very people.
They range from retired or semi-retired directors and senior executives through to self-employed experts in every imagineable field. All have a few things in common. They have vast general knowledge and they're great role-players. Black Swans apply and are selected (or sometimes we shoulder-tap them) and they undergo a half-day induction 'ELP to introduce them to swanning around. They sign a confidentiality agreement and are ready to fly.
Just as all swans are not white, all Black Swans are not the same either. They are graded by experience and aptitude. In addition, we have a category known as 'Celebrity Swans'. These are well known people such as former Government Ministers, business leaders, sportspeople and the like. They love helping to mentor others and agree to come along and make cameo appearances at appropriate business war games and 'ELPs.
Black Swans also assist from time to time on 'ELPs, where the learning requires some wild card players - we call them Wildlings. Visit the Black Swans website.