Consensus building is an imperative and educational art form.
Mark Gabriel is a senior vice president with R. W. Beck, an SAIC company. His book, Visions for a Sustainable Energy Future (Fairmont Press) won the 2009 Indie Excellence Award for Environmental Publishing.
Collaboration among stakeholders with widely divergent points of view never has been more critical. In a world of increasingly complex industry challenges resulting from megatrends now driving the electric industry—including the arrival of infrastructure intelligence, vastly greater customer engagement, and ongoing efforts to resolve the carbon-capacity conflict—the opportunities for misunderstanding, miscommunication, and conflict abound. Players across the electricity sector now must manage an array of constituencies, and if they’re not careful they might face greater intervention in rate cases and significant risks of litigation, as well as negative publicity and poor customer relations.