KnE 005 Electricity is only Technology - It is People that make the Difference Created by James on 6/13/2013 4:35:32 PM
You flick the switch and the lights come on – always – or nearly always. Until December 2007 this was pretty much the South African experience, at least in the homes of those who have been privileged to have electricity for many decades.
In those days a “power cut” had us running for our phones to report what seemed like a freak occurrence.
Suddenly our paradigm was turned on its head and we stood powerless and powerless.
Generators, uninterruptable power supplies and gas appliances were suddenly the business to be in.
Businesses suffered massive disruption – one of my clients lost 53 hours of production in December and January and spent a substantial amount on a generator. I lost two days and joined the rat race of people competing for alternative power sources at a cost of a further five days before I had a generator in place with acceptable sound levels and wired into the house, and low energy lamps, and a gas cooker and …
I imagine your experience was similar.
There was much heat in the press and finally a response that spoke about “ripple relays” and diverse other technology that was going to help to ease the problem, once it was installed, this year or next year or whenever there were enough devices and technicians to make it work.
Meanwhile the mines shut down, industry shut down and the restaurant on the corner shut down, except the few that managed to serve “load shedding menus”.
And, when the power came back on ALL the lights kicked in, and the air conditioners and … we carried on as though electricity was in unlimited supply.
And then came scheduled “load shedding” also know as rolling blackouts and still, in most locations when the power came back on so did most of the lights and appliances, going full tilt to make up for lost time.
And small business bled, and then sub-stations started to burn out and some were without power for days.
And STILL there was something missing …
In my work with the effective business application of computer systems I have come to realize that computers are without value unless they are used by human beings in ways that create value, in fact, I have concluded that I.T. is ALL about people!
As I dealt with my frustration and pondered the electricity crisis while ensuring I had enough reserves of diesel, I realized that electricity too is without value unless it is used by human beings in ways that create value.
It is people who decide when to turn the lights on and off and whether to remove those luminaries (light bulbs and tubes) that are not critical and when to turn on the air conditioners and turn them off.
Human beings can choose to turn the geyser off when they leave for work and turn it on again when they return home.
In fact, when you really think about it, ripple relays and other technical devices are really not that critical IF the people are motivated to partner with the economy.
And so I conclude that electricity is all about people and since YOU are a “people” the real challenge is what YOU are doing to help avert demand that exceeds supply. Did you turn the light out when you left the room?
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