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White Swan; yes White Swan !! In Sanskrit ‚we have an adage-HAMSA KSHEERA NYAYAM– meaning Swan and the Milk Example ! What does this mean ? It is believed that Swan accepts milk portion only from out of the mixture of Milk and Water ! I am honoured to compare this Vedic Analogy with Andres Agostony’s WHITE SWAN –I do not know whether Andres kept this Vedic term. While titling his Great foreseeing of the Future ! Needless to say that Andres is a foreseer; DRASHTARA ! He illumines the present science and technology and eighteens the future Metascale heights , yet he says that he does not know what could be in 2045 ! The universe is a legendary verse and I must admit with my limited knowledge of the past to future, the evolution is the greatest revolution in all aspects ; known becomes non existent and unknown becomes the most adored and preferred tool of the present tool for affluence in scientific and technological fast tracks ! I admire Andres at every meticulous step in his narration citing and acknowledging his indebtedness to his peers ! My knowledge of Scince and technology is limited to appreciation of the facts of the future ! I am no match to Andres Agostony’ s knowledge, but have the firm belief that Andres Agostony’S fore thoughts of the future are the as true as Sun and Moon ! It is a prevailed I casually came across this page and must say I am a gainer in knowledge ! There is ignorance in knowdge and so too knowledge in ignorance because :the more one learns; much more he/she feels more he/she must learn ! People like Andres Agostoni are always sought after to educate the thirsty for knowledge of the futuristic developments !
White Swan by Andres Agostini
Swan accepts and drinks milk only leaving back the portion of Water ; called Hamsa Ksheera Nyayam –A Vedic Adage !
I find the writings associated with White Swan to be delightfully thought-provoking and offer a clever and insightful juxtaposition to the Black Swan concept. It provides balance in the flow of the topic and brings a rich new set of useful distinction to consider.
I think this will offer elements to a full and complete range of thinking that holds two ends of the same line of thinking. The Swans become bookends to an elegant body of thinking and consideration on how to “be” in the midst of the two influences.
I enjoy the additional thinking that Andres has brought forward and I appreciate the visit to the fundamentals of thinking in so many areas that affect the true productivity of business and the impact on people and results.
I greatly enjoyed this read, and found it very helpful and eye opening. It does not surprise me, coming from Andrew Agostini, a very clever scholar, a fine man and a precious consultant who researches thoroughly, has very wide knowledge and is a very serious professional when it comes to these issues.
Most of all I find the remarks about preparing to the future and making it happen based on changing ideas, thoughts, concepts, preparing a new vision that pushes us all forward, not based on the past. Well done! thank you!
As always Mr. Andres Agostini cuts to the heart of the matter. The abundance of experience and knowledge required to achieve a break-through thought like this is staggering. I am glad that my life allowed me to experience this brilliant minds and exceptional thoughts that it produced. I’m grateful that he is able to articulate his thoughts in a way that we can absorb it. Thank you Andres!!!!
An exceptional source of deep insight into the contemporary intricacies of an organization, a delightful invitation to dip into the author’s multifaceted analysis of such wonderful, although complex entity. The absorption of Mr. Andres Agostini’s “White Swan” concepts is not only highly recommended, but also a condition sine qua non for organizations around the world to be on top of their businesses. Simply fantastic!
Mr Agostini makes very clearly his point about the need to have better alternatives to current «insurance-based risk management» approaches, these failing lamentably to provide organizations with proactive, agile plans to face current and future opportunities and threats to continue to thrive and achieve long term sustainability. He also offers, with his White Swan metaphor, the path to better forecasting and proactivity: his Transformative and Integrative Risk Management methodology. This methodology being the fruit of real time applications and demonstrated successes on many very complex organizational environments, I am confident that it can help any organization face the current turbulent times and its future ®evolutions with more certainty and agility in the face of permanent change. I particularly liked his rendering and interpretation of the Deng Xiaoping’s quote: “ … It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice …”, because in our particular turbulent times, the white cat (swan) will be the one that can catch the mice. Transformative and Integrative Risk Management is a real system’s approach, ensuring a better, more complete (if not always completely omniscient) , look at all future possibilities and resulting in better organisational actions in the present, and superior agile plans for the future. I am privileged to have had the chance to read this abstract of M. Agostini coming book and I am looking forward to the unabridged version. I am also confident that the organisations that will use his Transformative and Integrative Risk Management methodology will continue to lead their fields of activities, remain sustainable and prosper for a long time to come. I am also sure that the organisations experimenting difficulties right now have a better chance to find the path to renewed organizational health and prosperity using the proactive approaches inherent to Transformative and Integrative Risk Management. Claude Emond, BEng, MEng, MBA, rmc, CD
The past serves as a base for the future. In order to make predictions we need to have a clear picture of past events, although these will not dictate how the future will unfold (it may sound like a paradox, but from my experience that’s how it basically works). In order to look into the future, we do need a broad mind and we need to dare looking into it.
As always a very thorough and insightful view of things as they are and are going to be!
For some reasons we are confronted with our fears more than ever, maybe Universe claims this for the next leap we have to go through. Our real nature is showing its Glory and a simple “thank you” changes, because of the cosmic law of allotropy, the shape of everything. We are, most of all, water and the change is easier for this element. Another element of the change is the state of mind regarding time concept, we feel much comfortable with memories and imagination than before and according to Max Planck’s theory our subtle essence prevails nowadays. Everything without exception is upside down, an expired world becomes archive and a new one is born already. This is the right moment to declare Planet Earth once for ever, a common heritage for the human race wiping all the conflict scenes and recovering the homeland we got to take care of it. This is a great post allowing us to find answers and to ask learning together to evolve with the Cosmos
Sin duda Andrès Eloy eres un maravilloso explorador de ideas nuevas. Tus conceptos me invitan a reflexionar. Das por tierra los viejos paradigmas cintìficos, con conceptos prolijos e innovadores. La Futurologìa es en verdad un tema fascinante. Gracias por compartir tu sitio.…!!!!!
Andres– Best of luck. I think this section from your posting provides a summary of the larger, complete thought: Creating the future is more challenging than playing catch up, in that you have to create your own road map .… The goal is not simply to benchmark a competitor’s products and processes and imitate its methods, but to develop an independent point of view about tomorrow’s opportunities and how to exploit them …” 
Mr Agostini provides a valuable look, and, provides valuable contributions to “Red Teaming” and decision analysis planning. Modern Strategy and White Swans are also about the social dynamics, which many analysts neglect. Andres coves this nicely.
Mr Agostini has proven to be one of the most qualified and ethics driven business consultants I have recommended to our clients. He truly cares for success of his clients and is an asset to any business that would choose to utilize his expertise. Good luck on your White Swan project.
It is a great honor to know Mr. Andres Agostini for several years through which I had numerous privileged opportunities to exchange intelligently charged views on vast number of subjects ranging from advancement of physics and human resource science and technology management, to sophisticated nuances of advanced photochemistry. I have no doubt that Mr. Andress Agostini has assisted me in understanding limitations. This has become a hall mark of Mr. Andress Agostini multiplicative advice, guidance and input which greatly helped us reduce to practice technology breakthroughs.
Said subject of intellectual exchanges also encapsulated new wave radiation chemistry techniques including atomic interactions in matter, acousto-optical interactions in liquids and gases and the photo-electro-catalytic interactions, all which provided outstanding base for design and reduction to practice of advanced Integrated environmental protection technology of vital resources to our planet such as the economical zero-discharge purification of water and air.
In contradistinction to interactions I experienced with a wide and highly qualified team of world class scientists, consultants, engineers and management specialists in wide myriad of complementing fields and diversified disciplines, Mr. Andres Agostini is indeed a diamond in a heap of pearls.
As part of my job as founder, President and CEO of a global leading design boutique of new revolutionary environmental protection technologies, Mr. Andres Agostini has provided extremely valuable input which provided us with guidance and illumination of key issues relating for example to resolving complex homeland security challenges in the creation of an advanced electro-optical firewall barriers for protection against future threats of CW/BW (Chemical & Biological terrorism and warfare), water sterilization for drinking, purification of air and water for key building installations, reduction of ammonium in intensive fish farming arena, and decontamination from toxic organic compounds in municipal and agricultural watering to include recycled water reclamation applications. Mr. Andress Agostini has provided valuable constructive criticism which strengthen our resolve in progressing with revolutionary technology project in the arena of F&B (Food & Beverage) new production techniques.
Mr. Andres Agostini vast and diversified knowledge assisted us in resolving complex, multi processing technology projects with highly challenging aspects (from in depth analysis to task prioritization, from risk management & analysis to decision making processes), from choosing specific componential solutions, to rightly approaching unchartered grounds relating to project assimilations, developing platforms of applications and subsequent industrialization of revolutionary patent protected portfolio of technologies.
Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Andres Agostini has helped us get in tune with our vision on vital plurality of levels, this help comes in numerous intellectual exchanges expressed through digital massive information exchange. This type of Bi-Directional guidance has helped us challenge our own limitations and the way we perceive understanding limitations as framework to achieve success of chosen goals and objectives. Both technically and from management perspectives.
Time and space limitations only exist according to the set of contrapuntal guidelines we set for ourselves and are most often judged by the subjective verdict of the individual who create them.
On a personal level as inventor & entrepreneur Mr. Andres Agostini have made me challenge numerous aspects of reducing to practice innovative technology projects (both in progressing with IP portfolio as well as in reduction to practice through transition to engineering of complex multi-field science and technology systems) and successfully surpassing managerial challenges (“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. –Napoleon Hill), yet it is clear that advancing into technology innovative visions must be backed by real world validated processes and knowledge, not mere belief, yet assimilate inventive progress threaded by commercial applicability was the right path we took.
Without any exception to the rule, in any and all of the correspondences, intellectual exchanges, consulting, advising, and encouragements we received from Mr. Andres Agostini, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Andres Agostini’s integrity, honesty and inner strength which are rare, unique and indeed very scarce in academic and industrial arenas.
In some cases Mr. Andres Agostini has provided strong, opulent, uncompromised constructive criticism which revolutionize the way we approach our projects and although was hard at first, said constructive criticism has clearly yielded higher productivity and maximized the profitability of many proposed transactions at our end.
Mr. Andres Agostini is an asset to any projects regardless of how complex, challenging and intricate it maybe. Whether it is space explorations, personal air vehicle explorations, environmental sensing, DNA synthesis, defense oriented projects, UPW (Ultra Pure Water production) or larger scaling of engineered solution for mankind and its valuable and often quintessentially vulnerable, sensitive environments. Mr. Andres Agostini confidence, knowledgeable resourceful and solution orientated approach in tuition is no doubt a world class. In closing this note, I would like to mention in passing that it is Mr. Andres Agostini’s inputs which have assisted us in recent weeks to complete what we believe is the world’s most advanced hypersonic kinetic synthesizer.
With utmost respect
Zamir Tribelsky Founder President and CEO Inventor & Entrepreneur Aqwaysys Ltd.
As a Futurist and Industrial Engineer I am greatly involved with many disciplines, techniques, research and reading. The White Swan treatise, by Mr. Andres Agostini, is correct and a technological breakthrough and scientific discovery in itself, coming forward in the most expected and needed moment, now. Mr. Agostini’s unprecedented abilities to coalesce Scientific Futuring with Transformative and Integrative Risk Management is a methodological novelty hugely embraced by the international community of Industrial Engineers. As he states, White Swan is not only about holding and futilely entertaining abstracts notions that do not have an instrumental and decisive practical application is enhancing corporation’s astute choice-making process. From this point onward I will be requesting my clients and customers to seriously study the White Swan as I am definitively considering forthcoming mutually-beneficial teaming arrangement with Mr. Agostini toward joint professional consulting services.
I have known Andres for approximately 2 years and found him to be a great intellectual to correspond with on many projects. He is also a good friend. Andres is engaging, insightful, and creative, and constantly seeks answers to the most confounding problems in many industries. He is literally a walking encyclopedia & veritable cornucopia of knowledge in anything you discuss with him. I highly recommend him to White Swan , any think tank, corporation, NGO, or government agency for his boundless wisdom and sage advice.
Agostini’s book White Snow presents a refreshingly a path breaking novel approach in the highly complex area of risk management which often overwhelms senior management in policy and strategy formulations..the presentation in well integrated problem solving approach makes it a munual for optimal risk management in very challenging operational environment …the book will be very useful and handy specially for those handling projects in space and aeronautics …I will very warmly recommend this book to all practicing managers and teachers in management may like to use this book for course in risk management …
White Swan’s Transformative and Integrative Risk Management is a tremendously comprehensive prospecting tool that I will be sure to reference in the future. Great work!
Andres Agostini is always willing to lend his wisdom and support to those of us who may not be scientists however I see Mr. Agostini as a bridge and interpreter of the sciences to the multitude of other specialists in business, commerce and industry. A rare man with the capacity to draw all who come near, closer to the leading edges of scientific analysis and predictability based upon fact as opposed to conjecture and pontification. I consider it an honor to call Mr. Agostini my friend and translator of cosmic relationships of all matter.
I am looking forward to reading this and checking out your other posts! This absolutely rocks
This book reflects Mr. Agostini definitely great preparation but especially the heart of Mr. Agostini. Heart that Mr. Agostini crosses every day and in every work both literary and technical.
“The future belongs not to those who possess a crystal ball, but those willing to challenge the biases and prejudices of the ‘establishment.”
Not very many people want to challenge the establishment out of fear or ridicule. Unfortunately, new technologies and new philosophies are not created from older ways of thinking.
I read “ The Black Swan” and I found it to be a fascinating reading , although slightly worrying, since it does not bring any positive outcome, based on technology and methodology, in order to solve the challenge of the Black Swan. In the White Swan which I studied and about which I took careful notes, I encountered a surprising positive strategy and a serious cosideration of all the problems presented in the Black Swan but offering a vast amount of fundamental solutions and logics as well as permanent, to the endless risks and negative futures of the corporate world in its entirity. In the White Swan, Mr Andrés Agostini,with his vast experience in solving imposibilities , and unthinkable , serious matters in a simple way, offers us an array of principles and practical technics to reach Real and Sustained Success in Corporations, Ventures, Governments, Societies, Families, and the demanding Human Being and Profesional. From now on, In my practice of Psycho therapy, it will be the norm to hand out to my patients, a copy of Mr Agostini’s White Swan . I have known the intelectual and scientific Avant garde of Mr Agostini since 1999.
There are too many superstitions in the world of trade, commerce and management. People embrace too many half truths. This is wrong and it does not help to understand a complicated world. The White Swan unmask a large number of global lies. There was about time for its author to tells better …
Mr. Andres Agostini’s brilliance is well documented. In the field of insurance, risk management, etc. Mr. Agostini combines critical thinking with multiple areas of experience using a variety of platforms. His ethics are beyond question. Mr. Agostini provides solutions to problems others would not even begin to tackle.
Risk management is an important function of every activity. Minimizing risk increases productivity and efficiency. The White Swan presents an effective way to integrate this by understanding critical thinking and market environment.
Mr. Andres Agostini is one of the most honorable and fearless original thinkers I have ever had the pleasure to know. Through his thirty plus years of commitment to the science of transformative and integrative risk management he has become one of the pioneers in this fledgling field of predictive science. Being a pioneer and thought leader requires enormous self confidence and dedication. Andres Agostini has prepared himself for his auspiciously spectacular career with diligent studies of the truth and meaning behind major shifts and technological changes in the world’s consciousness infrastructure.
The deeper one travels in understanding an issue or trend, the clearer the interpretive ability of the observer becomes, however, this is easier said than done. I believe Mr. Agostini is capable of delivering his interpretive predictions because of his unfailing commitment to his own brand of rugged personal individualism. In other words, he is relentless in his pursuit of the truth in all matters and does not allow others’ perceptions to sway his resolve. Therefore, his findings and conclusions have the potential to provide unique substantive impactful solutions and outcomes on the lives of individuals, organizations, communities and countries.
The White Swan project demonstrates that unpredictability occurs as a consequence of not having considered issues beyond what the superficial mind reports to us. Mr. Agostini through his years of relentless research and analysis at mindboggling levels of detail in scientific, economic and societal evolvement exercises profound wisdom in penetrating the causative issues behind events and thereby being able to extrapolate likely scenarios from the data.
Major corporations, organizations, governments and their leaders consult with Mr. Agostini because of his no nonsense view of trends. You can count on receiving his absolute uncompromising opinion on the issues you are concerned with and you can take them to the bank.
You may have heard of the “black swan” concept. Now there is the white swan, a name for an “interdisciplinary methodology” of “transformative and integrative risk management.” This is offered by Mr. Andres Agostini and his work is creative approach that can help organizations large and small prepare for the future. Of course the future has risks — and opportunities — because of it’s intrinsic property of uncertainty and unpredictability. To best mitigate the downside risks and leverage the upside opportunities, flexible thinking is required. For example, it is useful to view problems from multiple different points of view. This task is both important and nontrivial. To make it happen, an interdisciplinary approach is important. The hope is to manage the multiple uncertainties (risks and opportunities) by integrating an array of insights and resources. A succesful result can indeed be transformative. Thank you Mr. Agostini for contributing this methodology with its pathway toward solutions of originality and significance.
I was blessed to have been brought up near Mr. Agostini in our native Venezuela. The dedication that he makes above, to his parents, I can attest to be so very accurate as I met them while visiting their home. It is so refreshing that such an outstanding intellect that he has become, can go back to his roots and be so thankful for his wonderful upbringing! While it may sound like I am biased since being a lifelong friend of this author, I can profess the book to be a great revelation on business concepts that reach beyond any conventional treatise. Just reading the reviews above from the highest academic members of the business world should be proof enough of the great business work that it is.
Andres– Just to briefly expand on the posting I made from April 11– correctly harnessing and creating interoperability among key drivers such as: big data, fluid strategies, processes/methods/models, and cross-sector collaboration widen the “playing field”; thus, allowing for opportunities to better analyze and manage risk and reward.
In the U.S. and China there is a great fervor about Mr. Andres Agostini’s White Swan. I love this amazing read and how Andres explains every difficult thing with nice definitions and real examples. I also love the unprecedented level of candor by the White Swan. I find interesting that this book is about telling the truth and not to sugar-coat difficult realities while giving easy ideas about how to fix challenges and complications. I am into teaching people how to be successful in their professional and personal lives. As a process of that I will have my folks consider the White Swan because it is a great tool to make Success happen.
Very interesting post Andres! Thank you for putting so much thought into this subject for the benefit of all. Preparing for the future isn’t just looking into a crystal ball, it involves using many existing and varying resources. This also includes the involvement of experienced and knowledgeable people looking for trends and comparisons that can be extrapolated and used to define future directions while minimizing risk. Organizations should quickly transform their processes to accommodate for this with the only variable being how heavily their resources are invested according to the amount of risk involved and resources available. In general, most organizations are likely underestimate their level of risk and it is highly recommended that they consult with Mr. Agostini, an expert in his field.
Outstanding writeup. Thanks
Foreword « The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. » William Gibson
Andres Agostini is a very generous person and in the treatise he just wrote, «The White Swan», he shares with us very important knowledge and insights about a future already there at our door steps. The White Swan is much more than a book, in reality. It is a very complete and sincere «conversation» with his author, on a very complex subject: Transformative and Integrative Risk Management (TAIRM) — what it is, why it is important, how it works and how it can benefit immediately, in a sustainable manner, all kind of organizations and their stakeholders.
The scope of the usable knowledge the White Swan puts forward is just flabbergasting: so broad, so diverse, looking at and including so many perspectives, so many angles, so many considerations. You are guaranteed to learn many new things about the present, the future, uncertainty, the unexpected, risks, opportunities and the fabric of factual reality. It will make you question your own current perceptions of what is reality, of how the future is already present in the «here and now» and of how you can take advantage of current and emerging changes. What is also surprising is the time it took the author to collect his thoughts and write this amazing book.
Andres, already living today by emerging future trends not yet understood by most of us, discloses at the end of the book that he used a not-yet-publicized proprietary method of Intelligence Augmentation and Amplification (IAA), articulated under his Concurrent Coordinated Convergent Systems Thinking (CCCST), based on natural and legal biological means, in his «sprint» to write the White Swan. He told me that IAA is already an integrated feature of his own systems thinking and management approach. I bet major future-oriented players, like NASA, Google, Apple, Amazon and progressive universities are already looking very seriously at IAA, and would be interested by Andres’ integration of IAA in his own creative process. For one, I want Andres to tell me much more about it very soon; I, too, am in need of some «natural enhancement» to face energetically all the intellectual challenges before me.
The White Swan «conversation» started a while ago with a seemingly straight forward question to the author about the future of management in the face of continuous change. This question is one asked by all managers who seek a new path towards optimal management, a path that cannot be found without finding also the path towards optimal risk management through Transformative and Integrative Risk Management (TAIRM), the main subject of «The White Swan».
The White Swan is all but an easy read. It neither gives an easy answer, nor offers a simple recipe presented in an easy to understand point form. The answer Andres’ White Swan provides needs the support of many new words, with many new definitions and concepts .… because the answer needed is about finding a path that has not yet been traveled by most of us. This answer cannot be found in our past actions, previous expressions and earlier ways of thinking. The White Swan is about reinventing ourselves and the way we manage.
In order to give yourself a chance to reinvent yourselves and your organization, you will have to stick to what Andres will say in the White Swan book: whatever he says, whatever personal style he uses in doing so, and whatever challenges it will present to you in your search for simple answers. Simple answers really do not exist in the face of complexity and constant change. Be patient and take the time to listen to Andres and his unique way of telling a story. Reading the White Swan is a complete awakening and learning experience. So, keep your prevention and questions till the last page, because it is possible he will have addressed most, if not all of them, by the end of the volume. It is exactly what it has done for me.
This book is about the future, one where we thrive and prosper. This treatise shows us the way to create sustainable success and prosperity for our organizations and ourselves. As said William Gibson: « The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. ». And the future IS in this treatise and in Andres’ words.
Claude Emond, BEng, MEng, MBA, rmc, CD, PMP
International Organizational Agility and AgiLean Project Management Expert Awakener, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Creator of the «CInternational Organizational Agility and AgiLean Project Management Expert Awekener, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Creator of the «Changeboxing» Process
Montréal, Qc, Canada, May 2014
By Washington D.C. Metro Area (Industry and Military)‘s Deputy Director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO), Most Honorable Mr. Jose Nieves:
“… Mr. Agostini has a broad intellectual background and technological understanding providing him the ability to see issues from a very different perspective than most people, thus allowing him to see alternate futures, confront challenges head on, and solve complex problems through methodical and sequential processes. Mr. Agostini’s White Swan Book addresses the very issue of alternatives to current interdisciplinary approach. The understanding of alternative futures is critical to the success of organizations. Further, Mr. Agostini’s deep understanding of alternative futures and technological progression is a most necessary skill in our nation’s military and intelligence community’s ability to predict and solve future threats and see future opportunities to exploit. Separately, Mr. Agostini’s focus on transformative and integrative risk management to prevent technological surprise was, is, and will remain relevant into the future …”
By Canadian Space Agency’s Dr. Narasimha Bhashyam DSc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada):
“… Agostini’s book White Swan presents a refreshingly a path-breaking novel approach in the highly complex area of risk management which often overwhelms senior management in policy and strategy formulations … the presentation is in well integrated problem-solving interdisciplinary approach makes it a manual for optimal risk management in very challenging operational environment … THE BOOK WILL BE VERY USEFUL AND HANDY SPECIALLY FOR THOSE HANDLING PROJECTS IN SPACE AND AERONAUTICS … I will very warmly recommend this book to all practicing managers and teachers in management may like to use this book for course in risk management …”
By USA’s Austin, Texas Area’s Mr. Steve Pearson (CEO of The Pearson Strategy Group):
“ … The White Swan is very interesting, Andres! Thank you for putting so much thought into this subject for the benefit of all. Preparing for the future isn’t just looking into a crystal ball, it involves using many existing and varying resources. This also includes the involvement of experienced and knowledgeable people looking for trends and comparisons that can be extrapolated and used to define future directions while minimizing risk. Organizations should quickly transform their processes to accommodate for this with the only variable being how heavily their resources are invested according to the amount of risk involved and resources available. In general, most organizations are likely underestimate their level of risk and it is highly recommended that they consult with Mr. Agostini, an expert in his field …”
By USA’s Washington D.C. Mr. Glenn Alpert:
“…’…The future belongs not to those who possess a crystal ball, but those willing to challenge the biases and prejudices of the ‘establishment ….’ ….Not very many people want to challenge the establishment out of fear or ridicule. Unfortunately, new technologies and new philosophies are not created from older ways of thinking …. To speak about Mr. Agostini’s concept of the White Swan Treatise — These methods allow for an organization to plan for optimal futures, rather than leave events to chance. Mr. Agostini is an expert in the domain of Scientific Futuring, and can provide thought leadership and solutions for real-world problems that organizations face in this area …”
By USA’s Manhattan’s Mr. Joel Elveson:
“ … Mr. Andres Agostini’s brilliance is well documented …. In the field of insurance, risk management, etc. Mr. Agostini combines critical thinking with multiple areas of experience using a variety of platforms. His ethics are beyond question. Mr. Agostini provides solutions to problems others would not even begin to tackle …. Andres Agostini is one of the brightest minds I have ever encountered. Mr. Agostini possesses a dearth of expertise and experience in numerous fields. There is no task or endeavor that Mr. Agostini cannot successfully undertake and complete with ease. I would highly recommend that in the numerous areas that Mr. Agostini has worked in that his expertise be fully utilized. His thought processes are far superior to anybody I have ever met or that you will ever meet. Thank you …”
“…Mr. Andres Agostini possesses a clarity and complexity of thought that is rarely encountered. He is without a doubt one of the most brilliant persons I have had the pleasure to interact with. He is capable of understanding, and describing the forest, the trees, the leaves, the cells, and beyond (and with equal exactitude in several languages)…”
“…It is rare that one encounters a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who so adeptly transcends disciplines and defies traditional definition. Through highly intellectually and stimulating exchanges with Andy, I have found him to be an SME in virtually, and practically, many areas including business management, global commerce, technology, innovation and forward-thinking initiatives… With his insightful views, thoughtful approach and genuine interest in others, Andy has served as an inspiring mentor and coach. He has caused me to pause for deep reflection and ask a truly meaningful ‘What if?’. I have no doubt his subtle, yet effective style, will propel me to the next level of professional development and stellar delivery of my ‘personal best’…For any organization seeking an exceptional and truly remarkable resource, I highly recommend Andy. For anyone wishing a glimpse into ‘what may be’, I recommend exploration of Andy’s theorem about future studies and strategic planning…”
“…Andy Agostini is extraordinarily accomplished as a Thinker, Executive and Project Strategist…His energy and passion come through in everything he does and his natural language skills generate optimism and an overall sense of possibility. He is articulate, a clear and concise communicator, a forward thinking individual and a sincere performer…Andy brings his experience, host of accomplishments and assignments to everything he does and can be relied upon to do what it takes to make things happen in ways that serve the project as well as the overall enterprise…You will find him highly educated, seasoned, of great poise and manners, clearly a gentleman in all regards. He is savvy in the ways of doing business in multiple cultures and understands the idiosyncrasies and complexity of dealing with multiple interests toward a common goal…I believe you will always be glad that you did business with Andy in any context within which you engage. I offer my heartiest recommendation of him and continue to seek projects upon which we can collaborate resources and efforts…”
“…Much like his knowledge-seeking forebears, Andres maintains an unconventional view of the conventional world around him. The combination of his intellect and perspective serve him well as an engaging commentator, coach and consultant. His writings are completely fascinating, as he is able to connect vast amounts of information into something truly meaningful…Andres is not at all an intellectual snob, though by all rights he could be. On the contrary, he is very giving through sharing his ideas and knowledge, and in helping his fellow men (and women) working to better themselves. I find Andres to be a kind and warm human being while maintaining his strong professional leadership and mentoring style. He offers a unique blend of qualities and attributes that are rare indeed, and I highly recommend him…”
Mr. Andres Agostini had once Again proved, that his intellectual knowledge are above most people through The White Swan theory. Compared to the Black Swan, this comes around all the multi plausible observations known into Risk Management. Although it’s much more complexed it’s gonna be an indispensable tool for both current and upcoming Managers and Leaders to succeed in the future. As an upcoming Leader I’m really looking forward to follow and use theories by Mr. Andres Agostini.
It is a pleasure to write about Mr. Andres Agostini; meeting him almost two years ago, following his extensive work and seeing the depth, insights and high quality of his writings, his innate ability to express ideas, and, his sincere dedication to making a difference now and for the Future of the Planet.
In Science and Technology, in integration of Consciousness, expanding the Scientific view point to include “out of the box thinking” for practical application which is needed for humanities expansion, survival and sustaining knowledge, Mr. Andres clearly writes for the benefit of all life on the planet, he also considers humanities Vision of the Future, of Space and new Sciences.
I recommend Mr. Andres Agostini highly, as a Colleague and Friend, a prolific writer with a keen eye to expand for the greater good all subjects he approaches, it is an honor to know him. ~ Dr. Diane M. Rousseau”
The White Swan — «A» Review
Of black and white swans: a conversation
« The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation. » Michel de Montaigne « The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into your mind, BUT HOW TO GET OLD ONES OUT. » Dee Hock, CEO, VISA Int’l
As explained in the foreword of «The White Swan», Andres Agostini, the author, «is a very generous person and the book he offers us is a very generous book. It is more than a book, in reality. It is a very complete conversation on a very complex subject: Transformative and Integrative Risk Management (TAIRM) — what it is, why it is important, how it works and how it can benefit in a sustainable manner all kind of organizations and their stakeholders.» This conversation started a while ago with a seemingly straight forward question addressed to Andres by one of his acquaintances, David Shaw. David’s question is presented, at the beginning of the book, in these words: «… Andres, from your work on the future, which management skills need to be developed? Classically the management role is about planning, organizing, leading and controlling. With the changes coming in the future, what’s your view on how this management mix needs to change and adapt?…» (p.28) David’s question summarizes the current concern of most managers in the face of permanent change. I ask myself this question every single day, in the face of every single decision I have to make. I submit that all of you reading this review are also looking for an answer to this same question. This is a question that seeks a path towards optimal management, a path that cannot be found without seeking also a path towards optimal risk management, hence the main subject of «The White Swan», Transformative and Integrative Risk Management (TAIRM), a holistic systemic approach that: «comprises all activities and initiatives required to seize the optimum degree of risk elimination, mitigation, modulation or control within the constraints of operational effectiveness, time, and cost, attained through the specific, systemic and systematic application of management, scientific, engineering and applied mathematical principles throughout all phases and facets of system operation » (p.48) The question has been put on the table and now it’s Andres’ turn to enrich the conversation. This book is not an easy read, that gives an easy answer, in an easy to understand point form. Be forewarned, Andres’ answer is not an easy one to grasp. It needs the support of many new words, with many new definitions. Why new words and new definitions? Because the answer to David’s question is about finding a path that has not yet been traveled by most of us. The answer cannot be found in our past actions, expressions and ways of thinking. Albert Einstein once said: « It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity … We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive ». To that, Peter Drucker added: « The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic ». The answer Andres has to give must address a new, very complex and very rapidly changing technology-driven world, one that has not been managed before, one for which we have to reinvent ourselves. In order to give yourself a chance at self-reinvention, you will have to stick to what Andres will say in this book: whatever he says, whatever personal style he uses in doing so, and whatever challenges it will present to you in your search for simple answers. Simple answers really do not exist. So, I sincerely invite you not to be a «bore» JUST YET (« Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen. » Ambrose Bierce). This book is Andres’s turn in the conversation. Be patient and take the time to listen to him; keep your prevention and questions till the last page, for he will address most, if not all of them, somewhere in the book. This is what happened to my own prevention and questions while I read through the entire book; this is what will happen to yours. Reading this book is a complete awakening and learning experience. What follows is what I personally awakened to and learned through its pages.
Life is not a bowl of cherries
« Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. » Erma Bombeck « …The future is not a privilege but a perpetual conquest… » Robert Kennedy
The «Expert» market (books, audiobooks, DVDs, social media, guruships, etc.) is full of people who propose quick fixes to very complex situations. The complexity of our current «permanently changing» contextual realities cannot, however, be understood through simple statements. Their contextual richness can only be rendered through learning about quite a few important, interdependent elements in our own very unique situations. These complex situations question many so-called «universal laws» of management promoted by “experts” or “management gurus”. These same experts and gurus are very suspect: they have never put one foot into your organization or specific situation. To paraphrase Erma Bombeck’s famous bestseller title: « If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits? ». So how anyone, in his right mind, can say he has THE answer for my particular, unique situation, without even being in the pits with me. The conquest of the future starts in the present. I often tell my workshops’ and courses’ participants that «Chaos Theory 101» simply is: «The future deploys itself from the initial conditions of the present moment ». So, in order to address permanent change and work on the future of my organization (as well as mine), I have to start with my very unique present situation, apply system thinking and engineering, assess this situation thoroughly to uncover all of its elements, be they small or big, separate perceptions and opinions from reality, determine systemic interdependencies between all those elements, look at possible alternative futures, bad or good, and plan my short, medium and long term actions accordingly. The TAIRM’s approach and methodologies, discussed in this book, will allow you to do exactly that successfully… and to do it again and again, as seen fit, for sustainable organizational growth and enduring success.
«Wēijī» — Opportunity’s false God
« The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity. » John F. Kennedy (1959)
In the above quote, President Kennedy was referring to the Chinese word «wēijī», usually translated as «crisis». This quote has been reused again and again, including by me, to tell people that a crisis is not only a source of danger, it is also a source of opportunity. One might then be tempted to compare the Black Swan (disaster) — White Swan (success) stories presented in Andres’ book, as another version of this interpretation of «wēijī». This book does not embrace this interpretation of the nature of a «crisis», for at the very least one good reason: the word «wēijī» does not mean danger+disaster. A simple Google seach will confirm this. TAIRM is not about finding opportunity in a crisis. And it is certainly not about using information nor «common wisdom» that will not withstand rigorous investigation and explanation… certainly not information that can be proven false by a simple Google search. TAIRM is about «not having a crisis»; it is about preparing oneself to alleviate, if not eliminate all together, any possibility of a crisis (a black swan), while building the conditions for sustainable success (a white swan). Opportunity is not the complement to risk in a crisis situation, it is its opposite. Opportunity does not usually emerge from a crisis, it aims at preventing it. TAIRM is not, however, a preventive or a corrective approach per se; it is rather a preemptive «perfective» approach (p. 126). TAIRM aims at preparing an organization’s actions, in the face of changing circumstances; it aims at increasing the organization’s resilience to adverse changes, through the highest possible state of preparedness and readyness. TAIRM is, in fact and by philosophy, perfectly aligned with the conclusions of the research on resilience realized by Robert Collins (Resilience: Protecting your Business from Disasters in a Dangerous World). Hence, one of TAIRM’s main postulates could be stated this way: « A COMPANY’S ABILITY TO RETURN TO BUSINESS DEPENDS MORE ON THE DECISIONS IT MAKES BEFORE A SHOCK HITS THAN THOSE IT MAKES DURING OR AFTER THE EVENT » (p. 193)
The only workable «standard recipe»
« Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind. » Jeffrey Eugenides
TAIRM is an «anti-recipe» approach, or rather an approach that uses the only workable «standard recipe» in the face of an increasingly more complex and permanently changing world and its resulting business environment. Very often, my clients, students and workshop participants ask me to propose a «standardized all-encompassing approach» for managing their many different projects. To that, I always answer that only workable «standard recipe» to apply to such different endeavors is as follows: « Each time you face a new project or situation, you sit down, as much as possible WITH ALL CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS; then you brainstorm on, think about, and analyze and define TOGETHER the situation in order to design collectively the proper course of action ». I often add, without smiling much, that our many organizational predicaments do not come from lack of gray matter, but rather from lack of using it together. TAIRM uses the same «standard recipe», harvesting all the gray matter that can possibly be used. This includes the gray matter reflected in many existing, as well as emerging approaches, in whatever way possible, to facilitate analysis, problem-solving and decision making on a given context. So, instead of adopting one approach as the new «recipe» or «fad» of the moment, TAIRM has, as seen fit, adopted, adapted and combined many breakthrough methodologies into its own, as they have emerged and become mainstream at a given moment. As of now, TAIRM has integrated into its approach the best of: «Proprietary Quality-Assurance Methodologies, Toyota Production System (TPS), Kaisen Methodology, Juran and Deming prescriptions, SixSigma, Lean and LeanSigma Methodologies, Process Re-Engineering Methodology (Conjointly: Los Alamos Labs and Procter and Gamble), Bill Conway’s Methodology, Risk Assessment Methodologies by the U.S. Navy and Hitachi, Several methodologies based on Continuous Improvement, Red-Teaming, Red Adair’s Approach, NSTB’s Go-To Team Approach, as well as a considerable number of CORS Risk Management Services (Andres’ company) proprietary methodologies». (p. 219) Although TAIRM is ever evolving to adapt to emerging changes, the basic «standard recipe» remains the same: use the gray matter of all concerned, whenever possible. I know this makes sense, even «common sense». If so, why is this «standard recipe» seldom used? Andres’s book does not try to explain why, neither does it pass judgement on this situation. This book is not about opinions and distributing blame. What this book wishes to give you, if you join Andres’ conversation with an open mind, is a very good understanding of what needs to be done to succeed in face of constant change, as well as a willingness to do so, for the sake of all concerned.
«Life» is a many-splendored thing
« There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception. » Aldous Huxley « If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is — infinite. » William Blake « Songs are as sad as the listener. » Jonathan Safran Foer
In the previous part of the review, I alluded to, and even put in capital letters, the words: «WITH ALL CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS» and «TOGETHER». TAIRM is not about an approach used by an «external expert» to tell you what to do. TAIRM is more about an «awakening to change» process, supported by a very good facilitator/coach (internal or external), helping all concerned, in your organization, to become aligned together. It aims at developping a common understanding of your unique situation, along with a resulting common vision and common plan of action towards securing successful outcomes (what Andres calls «eureka moments»)… and that not only for your sake, but also BEFORE competitors in your field can do it (Andres calls «sputnik moments» those situations where competitors get successful outcomes BEFORE you, with the same impact on your organization, than the one felt by the USA when the USSR launched the first sputnik or sent Gagarine into space). Andres professes in his book that, to be successful, each manager (you and me) must become «an expert state-of-the-art in-all-practicality generalist and erudite» (p. 205). He tells, however, that you are not alone; you can gain greater knowledge through working things out with multi-disciplinary teams, presenting multiple complementary perspectives. Moreover, Andres warns us against individual super– and over-specialization: « Overspecialization and superspecialization beget incomplete knowledge and flawed execution. And hence they create many blind spots that beget folly black swans. Because through overspecialization and superspecialization, you are only dealing with Knowledge Depth, but also outright ruling out and precluding advanced Knowledge Width ». (p. 40) To face complexity, we need BOTH depth AND width of knowledge. TAIRM will ensure that we do so, by conveying diversity and multiple perspectives in the process. This way, individual perceptions and opinions will be shared and confronted with present facts, until a common perception emerges. Once this happens, we can deal with a common reality, which is as close as possible to factual reality… and as far as possible from individual prejudices, preconceptions, perceptions, opinions and emotional biases. We can then all recognize the song we hear together with a similar common emotion, positively challenging the Jonathan Safran Foer’s words quoted above. Paraphrasing the title of Han Suyin’s book, «Life (love) is a many-splendored thing», TAIRM reminds us of the richness of collaborative endeavors and will help us get the most out of it. Through fostering collective intelligence, TRAIM will increase immensely our ability to create «white swans» and continuous «eureka moments».
Where to go from here? «The way of TAIRM»
« Can you cleanse your vision till there is no blemish? » Tao Te Ching («The Way of Tao») Verse 10 « Be the change you want to see in the world. » Mahatma Gandhi
The answer Andres gives to David’s question is very simple, yet revolutionary. As says a popular African proverb: «Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it». In order to do that, «The Way of TAIRM» will ensure you have a very clear vision of what is happening and where you will go. This will be ensured not by looking at the past for answers, but by looking at the present changes… as well as at the early signs of «changes to come» that have already started to emerge in the «here and now». I believe that at this point, I should let Andres contribute some of the final statements of this review: «Please remember that “… THE FUTURE IS NOT AN ECHO OF THE PAST…”» and that «“…Here and Now…” is, put simply, the endless entry point into the future». (p. 106 and p. 156) Andres’ final answer to David’s question is summarized in these very few words: «Given your clever question, David, and commented simply to you: “…I am no longer a captive to history. Whatever I can imagine, I can accomplish. I am no longer a vassal in a faceless bureaucracy. I am an activist, not a drone. I am no longer a foot soldier in the march of progress. I am a Revolutionary! … (from Gary Hamel’s Leading the Revolution)”» (p 231). …Bluntly put: To succeed in the present times, you have to reinvent yourself, as a manager and as a leader. You have to stop looking at the past for answers; you have to face the «here and now» and yourself «become the change». While answering with much detail, Andres does not explain all the nuts and bolts of the TAIRM approach; parts of it are proprietary and cannot be revealed in a public document. That being said, it would be presumptuous to believe that reading a book would provide you with all the winning conditions to execute TAIRM. You need support and coaching to do that, at least for a first few times. You cannot reinvent yourself, nor your organization, without being challenged by an external perspective. Nonetheless, the book generously reveals to you the following: • A suggested step-by-step management ROADMAP to put in place the conditions to create «white swans» (page 228 ss) • A proposed reading list to get you to learn more about many of the principles presented in the book (231ss). (To this list, I would add «Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, 2nd edition, by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe», probably the only book besides «The White Swan» that properly addresses the «unexpected») • A 72 point blueprint for any manager aiming at succeeding in the face of continuous change. (p.233 ss) Finally, in a nutshell, this book is about creating «white swans» and achieving the resulting «sustainable success». But these are no easy tasks. One might prefer denial or delay to action. However, both are very dangerous choices in the current circumstances, according to Gary Hamel (“the world’s leading expert on business strategy”, according to Fortune Magazine), who once wrote that: «Denial is tragic. Delay is deadly». This ends «A» review of the book, mine, the one I wrote after listening to Andres’ answer; an answer given not only to David, but also to all of us. Just go into action now, the first steps being to read this book, share its content and write your own collective review of this revolutionary book… a collective review that will change your organization’s present and future into a continuous stream of extraordinary, successful, sustainable eureka moments, populated by elegant white swans.
Montréal, Qc, Canada, May 2014
Claude Emond, BEng, MEng, MBA, rmc, CD, PMP International Organizational Agility and AgiLean Project Management Expert Awekener, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Creator of the «Changeboxing» Process
I am in awe of Andres for many reasons since 2008. Not only am I impressed with his business and management practical approach, vast knowledge and professionalism in current high-tech and concerning future technologies and risk management, but as a unique and very valuable human being .… With extensive work based on over 30 years of corporate experience, Andres has completed his current book, ‘The White Swan’. He has managed to incorporate his wealth of knowledge and experience to address the threats and opportunities and benefits so that incumbents gain augmented insight about what greatly impacts the practices by change managers, leaders, educators, researchers, scholars, entrepreneurs, advanced students and responsible citizens, aiming to make a difference for a better yet challenging world …. With minuteness, he explores deep reflections, initiatives, notions and ideas that may have been long ignored, under-estimated and misunderstood. The White Swan is an interesting, deep and comprehensive exploration that allows the reader to freely come to his/her own conclusions. He has a dynamic and deep mind, and is gifted with a true art of discernment and expression for all he feels.
Often ignored is the future of mankind as we move through our daily lives. Until you meet Andres Agostini an accomplished author, thinker and strategist. When you browse through the cosmos called his profile you are engaged in a myriad of accomplishments both in his writing and published works but also his accomplishments and impressive list of the companies he has served. He is a thinker and one that makes sense.
His relationships are top notch and I have had the pleasure to be offered an introduction. Which has developed into a new relationship and one of both intellectual value but of commonality.
If you are looking for the intellectual promise you will not be disappointed in fact you will be impressed. His vast intellect in multiple topics is a trait of a visionary. And I believe that Andres is just that.
To sum up if your future is in need of clarification and need a well established and respected individual who follows through on his intentions then this is your man. A person of integrity, a future thinker and an accomplished author. I trust you will find his engagement as satisfying as I do.
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