This content was originally published on The Resilience Shift website. The Resilience Shift, a 5-year programme supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and hosted by Arup, transitioned at the end of 2021 to become Resilience Rising. You can read more about The Resilience Shift’s journey and the transition to Resilience Rising here.

In our asset management decisions, how should we routinely use the building blocks that are already in place to implement resilience thinking?  I presented at the end of Day 3 (themed on resilience) of the Institute of Asset Management’s (IAM) Annual Conference 2018 in Birmingham. It was a really forward looking event, focusing on the future of asset management. The three days over 25-27 June focused on asset management in the context of Growth, Innovation and Transformation, and Resilience.I followed some great speakers and discussions – including Dr Mark Fletcher, Arup Fellow, who is leading Arup’s work on the City Water Resilience Framework and the Resilience Shift project on City Scale Water Governance.

As I often do, I used the ITRC diagram showing the complexity of the UK’s infrastructure system-of-systems to illustrate why we can’t consider assets or even individual sectors in isolation. Mark made this point much more memorably using a picture of a pizza!

I also put my usual pictures of bridges, energy systems etc. and was completely blown away by Monique Beedles‘ slides which drew heavily on her family history to illustrate different types of assets that boards of directors need to think about. Communication of important issues in a memorable way should never be undervalued – food for thought…

My proposition to the IAM community was that there are many of the building blocks already in place to implement resilience thinking in asset management decisions, but that this is not yet routinely done. At the end of my presentation I put some possible reasons why this is still the case, and I hope to be able to carry on the conversation to truly understand how the Resilience Shift can help asset managers to ‘shift’.

The discussion at the end of the conference was great, and gave me a lot to think about – including a plea for more help in how to implement a systems approach in practice, where most people recognise it as important in theory. We discussed that at a city scale where a city is responsible for all its assets, asset manager are in a better position to make cross sector decisions.

The IAM is about to publish its Subject Specific Guidance (SSG) on resilience and contingency planning, which I look forward to reading.

The slides that I presented are available for viewing below.