Utility of the Future is a Journey, not a Destination
Kevin Fitzgerald is Chief Utility Officer, Energy Impact Partners
PUF's Steve Mitnick: How are these utilities that you work with creating a culture that nurtures, stimulates, and sustains innovation?
Kevin Fitzgerald: The secret is that it starts at the top. It starts with the CEOs in the industry that are looking at and investigating the future and the technical issues that are associated with it. They're also looking at how they're organized and how the company functions in relation to those technological and business changes.
At the top of these organizations, we have tremendous leaders like Tom Fanning, Ben Fowke, Warner Baxter, John Pettigrew, and Andy Vesey. They are constantly looking at the future. They are challenging their people to think about how they do business today. They're also looking at whether there are any new technologies or approaches that should become part of the process that we have in place to deliver great reliability, great affordability, and sustainability to our customers.
That's the important part.
The next part is: How welcoming are companies below the CEO level to new ideas, new technologies, and new processes that may provide a benefit to customers, but may be done a little differently than in the past?
In a big organization, often there's a rub there.
There's tension because it's very easy to go about your job; if you're an engineer, you put feeders in place and re-conductor things.