Over the last couple of years, and connected to the work on Sensing City, I’ve been advising Infratil on technology advances that could disrupt their business or provide opportunity. This was referenced in the annual meeting where the Chair, Mark Tume said
…the challenge was to stop their investments from energy to the retirement sector getting “Uber-ed” or being able to “Uber” some else, in a reference to the Uber taxi service. Infratil would not be able to recognise the next Uber, Tume said and it was “incredibly difficult” to pick winners in new technology.
But Infratil’s board and management had to be open to the risks and how to react. “So we don’t act like possums in the headlights” he said.
For example, Infratil had seen the rapid rise of solar power in Australia and the potential for new battery technology which would change the power sector landscape.
“The one I’m scared of is the one that blind-sides you”
Many organisations are increasingly susceptible to being blindsided, but only a few – like Infratil – have the foresight to seek to understand the risks and opportunities.