‘You must dedicate your own time to supporting innovation. You also need to say when to shut a project down.’
Tom Flaherty is a partner with Strategy&, part of the PwC network, with over forty years of consulting experience. Most recently, he has led assignments related to standing up innovation programs and capabilities within utilities. Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and author of the book “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
At the recent EEI Annual Convention, PUF's Steve Mitnick and Tom Flaherty of Strategy& sat down with five utility CEOs to discuss how they are encouraging innovation at their companies. Below is an edited transcript of the interview with Chris Crane.
Chris Crane is president and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Crane previously served as president and chief operating officer of Exelon Corporation. Crane joined Exelon (then ComEd) in 1998, and was named chief nuclear officer in 2004.
Tom Flaherty of Strategy&: How have you been working to stand up innovation over the last couple of years?
Exelon's CEO Chris Crane: We're looking at innovation from a broad perspective, and in more narrow terms. The first focus was how do we improve and become more efficient with emerging technologies?
We started off in two ways. We already had a technology ventures investment group that was looking at emerging technologies, and how we could apply them to the system.
At the same time, smart meters were coming on. More technology was coming onto the grid for the first time. Everything was focused toward a better customer experience at a lower cost.