Preparing for one-off shocks

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Following my Weather hits utilities post, I just reviewed the EU-funded CRISADMIN project assessing one-off impacts on city infrastructure. This goes beyond a single utility to look at inter-sector effects, including the consequences of citizens’ behavioural responses … a flood or bomb takes out some metro lines, so people flood the cell-phone network and take to the roads, for example.

This is a really neat example of just how valuable simple, aggregated models can be. Most other such efforts ...

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Weather hits utilities

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See class and model on asset strategy and a paper and model on risk/resilience, for my colleague and utility expert Bob Thurlby. More …

Recent bad UK weather has caused another round of severe damage and disconnections for households and businesses. For suppliers, increasingly frequent and serious events pose major challenges. These concern not just how to respond when events occur, but also how to set a mid- to long-term strategy for most reliable service, most resilient to ...

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Make your strategy resilient

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How to Prepare for a Black Swan in strategy+business offers good advice to assess exposure to disruptive events, but misses key elements a strategy can and should cover.

In summary, the advice is [1] map the firm’s operations, supply-chain and sales channels [2] list potential disruptions [3] ask ‘what if’ these happen [4] set up contingency plans. Work on risk in utilities shows several additional strategy responses are both possible and desirable.

  1. Reduce the risk that an event will actually cause ...
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Climate change and strategy

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Whether a skeptic or not, any CEO should check their strategy is OK if global warming does turn out to be real. Who, doing business in Pakistan, assessed the business risk from once-a-century flooding? ? Who, serving the Russian agriculture sector, checked the consequences from unprecedented temperatures and wild-fires? Who, planning utilities’ strategies in Europe, was ready for recent wild swings in temperature and rainfall? Unfortunately, the response of many businesses to endless ill-informed cost-pressure has left them more ...

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