Which prompted a couple of bigger thoughts about the 3Cs and their current and future application.
A real disaster
First, the power company's actions showed up for me how the UK government‘s handling of a real disaster – the covid pandemic – has so often fallen short of what is demanded by the 3Cs.
Of course, the scale and complexity of the pandemic is way beyond any of the challenges posed by a simple power cut and the picture is by no means all negative – the vaccination programme seems to be rolling out well.
But I’ve been pretty unimpressed by the mixed messages coming from the government (communication), their decisions to support some people but not others (compassion) and their basic lack of competence in several areas. All compounded by a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver – the exact opposite of what the power company did.
The 3Cs locally
Second, I think we’re all going to have to get more familiar with the 3Cs as the impacts of climate change are felt more often.
Again, my local incident is nothing compared to the severe problems faced by people in many parts of the world – or even other parts of the UK. But as extreme weather events multiply, I suspect we’ll need to apply the 3Cs increasingly at a local level.
For example, the WhatsApp group which our immediate neighbourhood has formed embodies two of the 3Cs – communication and compassion – which definitely helped in this incident. But I imagine we’ll have to add more local competence, too, right down to household level, as the challenges grow.
We'll also have a growing need for creative conversation to support all of the 3Cs – hence The Creative Conversation Company. There's method in our madness...
But for now, I’m just grateful to UK Power Networks and their brilliant display of the 3Cs. And grateful, indeed, that we have electricity at all to make our lives so much more comfortable.