A Grey Rhino is a term coined to describe a glaringly obvious warning sign of an event that is likely to impact your organisation in an undesirable way.
Two very recent examples of Grey Rhinos that you should have been prepared to deal with:
1) Optus & Medibank Security Breaches (these will cause your customer’s to be concerned about the security of their data you hold)
2) Interest Rate Rises (these will limit your customer’s spending capacity)
The trick is to be prepared for such an event – to recognise the warning signs and be ready to deal with it.
You can start by following these steps:
1) Organise an Ignite workshop to collaborate with your leadership team to identify, size and rank everything on your plate for the next 90 days. This should include both BAU and project work. Use the Ignite workshop to determine at which point in your list capacity runs out.
2) Make sure the list is highly visible ideally in both a digital form and a physical form.
3) Establish a simple and pragmatic Front Door process to deal with any break-ins (such as a Grey Rhino) and be ready to de-prioritise or drop work if it is less important than the Grey Rhino
4) Establish a regular cadence as a leadership to review the ranked list in terms of how it is progressing, understand/remediate any current impediments and discuss and rank any break-ins.
5) At the end of the 90-Days run a retro to review what didn't get delivered as planned (and what Grey Rhinos, other break-ins and impediments got in your way), and apply those learnings to the next 90-day Ignite workshop.
Now you are ready for the charging Grey Rhino