A Perfect Response to an Imperfect Storm

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Case – 1 - A perfect response to an Imperfect storm

Twelve days. That’s how long it took for Mississippi power to restore electric power to the heavily damaged areas of southern Mississippi after hurricane Katrina slammed into the Mississippi gulf coast on august 29, 2005, with 145-mph winds and pounding rain. That’s remarkable, given the devastation that news photos and television newscasts so graphically displayed. It’s something that even the federal and state governments could not accomplish. How bad was the damage company employees dealt with? One hundred percent of the company’s customers were without power. Sixty-five percent of its transmission and distribution facilities were destroyed. And yet, this organization of 1,250 employees did what it had to do, despite the horrible circumstances and despite the fact that more than half of its employees suffered substantial damage to their own homes. It speaks volumes about the cultural climate that the managers of Mississippi power had created.

As a corporate subsidiary of utility holding company southern company, Mississippi power provides electric services to more than 190,000 customers in the Magnolia state. When Hurricane Katrina turned toward Mississippi. Managers at Mississippi power swung into action with a swift and ambitious disaster plan. After Katrina land fall, Mississippi power management team responded,” with a style designed for speed and flexibility, forget thing done amid confusion and chaos.” David Ratcliffe, senior executive of southern company said, “I could not be prouder of our response.” What factors led to the company’s ability to respond as efficiently and effectively and effectively as it did? Imagine this is your second day at work as a manager supervising a team of financial analysts in the major technology corporation. Your boss the chief financial officer, calls you in and asks you to have your team find “creative” ways of improving sales figures. Look back at the framework in...
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