Management looks internally for momentum
Tom Flaherty is Senior Advisor to Strategy&, part of the PwC network.
In the last three years, utility leaders have moved from thinking about what innovation means, to actually applying it within their companies. This is a short time period to embrace an intangible idea, compared to how utility executives normally think about their business, such as in long-lived, tangible assets.
Companies have been hard at work evangelizing about what innovation is, how it is different and how success can build market advantage. Utility managements have focused on how to more broadly engage employees in innovative action and how to build internal recognition that thinking more independently and aggressively is a desirable trait.
To support this need to act differently, some companies have turned to visible signposts to illustrate and reinforce intent. These include establishing executive innovation leadership, separately located units for innovation, visible crowd-based events to draw attention to the topic and formal alignment with third parties.
It is time to take the next step in thinking, and move from assembling examples of innovative employee actions, to capturing illustrations of how innovation has advanced market position and generated tangible benefits. In other words, a new ‘North Star.’
A Shift in Focus