Lars Faeste
Lars Faeste

Business leaders will face challenges in the upcoming year, some of which will come as a complete surprise, or beyond anyone's imagination.

That’s why Lars Faeste, chair of FTI Consulting’s EMEA unit, recommends a “positive paranoia” approach.

“Through proactive risk management, investment in areas of vulnerability, and a heightened sense of curiosity, senior leaders can use this mindset to ensure that their business is resilient to future shocks and has the ability to innovate,” he wrote in a Dec. 15 essay.

Faeste noted that so-called “black swan” events require immediate attention, diverting the focus from day-to-day operations management. They also make a dramatic impact.

An FTI survey of 100 black swan events found that 32 percent of executives lost their jobs, $200B in market capitalization was wiped out, and 14 companies went out of business in the aftermath.

Faeste points out that "given the variety of modern-day crises—from cyber attacks and competitive misconduct to government investigations and financial sanctions—the probability that a major company will face zero crises over the next five years is almost zero."

That’s not paranoia. That’s just the cold hard reality waiting for CEOs in 2024.

Happy New Year.