Five and a half years ago, I published Out of Gas: A Systems Perspective on Potential Petroleum-Fuel Depletion. In that column and in the accompanying simulation model, I suggested that delays due to debates over how to allocate shrinking petroleum stocks might hurt our ability to replace energy resources in a timely fashion.
Today, I read Asphalt shortage disrupts road projects. I'm sure you can find other examples, perhaps closer to your home, in which the imbalance in supply and demand of petroleum is leading companies to prioritize one usage over another, which can cause pain for the unfavored group.
Models such as this aren't designed to predict the future, at least in the sense that they tell you that a certain event will happen in a certain year. They're intended to give insights into the likely and potential ramifications of current and proposed policies, both formal and informal, that we've created. They're intended to help us test policies quickly, inexpensively, and at low risk, so that we can be more confident when we implement a policy in our organizations. They do not provide guarantees, but they can provide very useful and sometimes unexpected insights.
In which areas would you like to think more effectively about the effect your current policies could have on your organization's future?