Tom Flaherty is a Senior Advisor to companies in the global power and utilities industry for PwC Strategy&.
Over the last five years, utilities have successfully infused awareness of the pace of market change into their employees. Consequently, enhanced visibility is being directed to areas where critical innovation is necessary to ensure business success.
Some actions are already visible within utilities, e.g., formalization of delivery models for innovation. Companies continue to create various kinds of enterprise forums to engage employees. Importantly, new external investment has been made to enable companies to advance relationships with innovators, financiers, and solutions providers.
Yet natural challenges exist that can hinder fledgling innovation programs. When impacts from innovation efforts are difficult to discern, internal momentum can easily lose steam and initial enthusiasm fade. Changes in business priorities also occur which cause commitment to wane and result in streamlined program approaches.
These headwinds are a natural occurrence in multi-year programs and require direct attention to overcome. To avoid innovation momentum loss, managements need to invigorate organizational interest through continuous communication, measuring outcome attainment, and underscoring market positioning.