In this post, Ross continues to talk about strategy vision in developing the asset management plan. Specifically, he discusses the pace of change, which is currently high.
Further on, he shares his idea on analyzing the changes and building flexibility to the changes.
Pace of change currently very high
The other thing at the moment is, and worldwide, the pace of change is exceptionally high.
And so anything with forecasting at the moment is in an environment of very fast technological change. Very fast, relatively fast environmental change, and relatively fast change in a way we’re doing things.
It’s interesting because if you look at England before the industrial revolution, so in 1700’s, everybody lived in little villages. And you were born in that village, if your father was a smith or made garments, whatever, that’s what you did. And your children would do that, and your children’s children would do that.
Along came the Industrial Revolution with the steam power and the cotton mills and all that. And within a space 40 years or so, bang, you’ve got everybody pouring out of the villages into cities Newcastle, London, all that sort of thing; completely changed the way British society worked.
And you had a whole heap of other problems along with it but in a space of effectively a generation, the entire way that the country ran, changed and then they built out infrastructure and flowed on from that.
Same things happened in China in the last sort of 40 or 50 years. You know you’re going from a very village agricultural society into now we’ve got massive manufacturing.
China has become the world’s manufacturing industry.
People have come from the villages to the city, same sort of trend but on a different scale.
And of course, then you’re going to build housing and you’re going to build cities and infrastructure, and all those sorts of things for that big change.
And it doesn’t ever go back.
So that pace of change worldwide, just in the last decade, the number of people living, more than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities. Prior to that, more than 50 percent lived in rural areas.
So there’s still… and the projection is another 50 or 60 years maybe 70 or 80 percent of the world population will live in cities. So there’s a lot of city infrastructure to be built out.
Quite rapid change, and in the technological change of the internet and communications technologies, add to that the change that we’re going from internal-combustion-engine-driven stuff to electric. Electric-driven stuff – the energy revolution is going on around that as well.
So your projections are all going to be developed within a scope of massive and rapid change. So you need to be able to deal with that and give a range as well.
Cause otherwise, some of the stuff that you’re building you might think will last 50 to 70 years will only last for 20 years cause it will be obsolete.
Analyze the changes
So, analyze the changes, what’s likely, what assumptions are underlying the analysis. One of the key things is documenting the assumptions because then you can apply a risk or an uncertainty ranking or analysis to those assumptions.
And then go, oh hey, we’ve got a couple here that we can do some more work on or resolve better. So, you’re tidying up the analysis and the forecasting from that.
Building flexibility to change
The key thing given the pace and amount of change going on is to, building flexibility to change. I mean as a society we are struggling with that.
Back in the Industrial Revolution in the UK, societally they struggled with that. They went from the way people who’ve been living for 300 or 400 years or 500 years to bang… hey, we’re all in the cities now and we’re all doing different types of work and stuff like that.
The big changes might create issues, but from an infrastructure point of view, they also create demands for different infrastructure in different places, be it housing, be it utilities, be it roads, on it goes.
So, the thing is that everything’s changing and everything is in play at the moment and will be probably. I mean the technological revolution we’ve got going at the moment, communications, technology is as large as much having the profound effect as industrial revolution did back for the UK in the 1700s through the 1900s.
So, we’re in the middle of that sort of a change period, and goodness knows, yeah, who knows where it’s going to end. Read the futurists if you want to get a handle on that, but in terms of infrastructure provision, we need to have this flexibility to change built-in as best as we can.