A Lesson Learned From Japan’s Recent Tragedy – Invest in Infrastructure
In the 1980’s, Japan created policies (aka business rules) and procedures for high-rise building construction. The country anticipated devastating changes and began instituting the necessary architecture to prepare for them. The buildings’ flexible framework swayed during one of the largest earthquake in over a century. Counterbalance on the top of the building adjusted and responded to the shifting movement below.
Other buildings with a rigid and brittle foundation would have crumbled under the pressure and activity from an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. While there may be some damage within those post 1980’s buildings, its architecture kept them standing and their occupants alive during the massive tremor and its multiple aftershocks.
Maximize on Experience
Japan maximized on their decades of experience and expertise in dealing with natural disasters. The small island nation incorporated strategy with standards to develop one of the most sophisticated earthquake warning systems on the planet. Even though that finely-honed response system could not prevent widespread devastation, it probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives and gave many more a chance that they otherwise would not even have.
Similarities of Building Architecture to Business Architecture
There are many correlations of building to business architecture. The concept of architecture is an all-encompassing view of an entire entity. Both should focus on the building or business infrastructure, framework and activities necessary to define, develop and support that entity. Both need to properly anticipate and integrate the inevitable changes and impacts that may test that entity to its very core.
Strength of Infrastructure
It is unfortunate that Japan did not apply their abilities and approach to securing the nuclear reactors or reinforcing the shorelines against tsunamis. New Orleans also paid the price when its levees (built to withstand a category 3 hurricane) buckled under the force of the category 5 hurricane, Katrina. There were business decisions that drove those engineering designs.
Investing in business architecture and infrastructure should not be a lesson learned the hard way.