2 min read

Change Management in Utilities

Change Management in Utilities

The energy and utility industry is faced with a lot of change: renewables, microgrids, IIoT, and automation. Climate change is driving unpredictable service outages; digital transformation adds complexity and capability in communicating with stakeholders, enabling data-driven decisions, while maintaining aging infrastructure, technologies, and systems is straining budgets.

Compounded by a national labor shortage, particularly in mid-level skills, and a wave of retirement, employees are challenged to embrace change and do more with fewer resources.

The industry is faced with unprecedented change—in both opportunities and challenges:

Strengths
Weaknesses
  • New ideas, new strategies to meet growing demand—Industry 4.0, AI
  • Move from waterfall to agile development to speed deployment of key technologies
  • Increased investment in people, workforce development
  • Employee commitment to organization vision—serving their communities
  • Tight labor market, mid-level skill gap
  • Retirement wave
  • Long-tenured employees—high employee burnout rates, change fatigue, hybrid work challenges, and resistance to return-to-office
  • Regulated environment—slows process improvement, change adoption
Opportunities
Threats
  • Increasing demand—+50% by 2050
  • IIoT—potential for 30-70% energy savings
  • Renewables—can increase capacity 90% by 2025
  • Explosion of AI/ML applications in energy
  • DOE funding for upgrading infrastructure, technologies, and processes
  • Increased adoption of agile model to improve project lead times and productivity
  • Affordability—6.2M households receiving energy assistance, the biggest jump since 2009
  • IIoT—increased cyber risk, convergence of IT and OT challenges
  • Explosion of AI/ML—demanding upskilling/reskilling, earlier collaboration between IT and business partners
  • Gap in data strategy, data governance, AI governance
  • 77% YOY increase in physical attacks threaten grid reliability

 

C-level executives are prioritizing culture change to empower employees, improve productivity, and improve their ability to hire and retain top talent, recognizing that they must move beyond a traditional mindset to meet community and stakeholders’ changing expectations.

To meet affordability and reliability needs, these top strategies all demand change management:

  • Digital transformation
  • Automation and AI/ML, IIoT for intelligent routing and maintenance
  • Move from waterfall to agile development
  • Cross-functional strategic involvement—changing paradigms and skillset demands in IT, HR, marketing, accounting, and legal

 


 

Trying to support your employees through a major change plan, re-organize, or change the customer experience?

We are happy to partner with you where needed. Let's explore!

 


 

Lessons Learned from Utility Industry Peers

Launch Team has helped to prepare people for change in several recent energy and utility industry change plans. Here are the programs some of your peers are taking on. 

  • CIO at a US energy company. 2023 Initiatives: intelligent routing and ERP roll-out to support digital transformation. Recognizing the need for change management: far-reaching implications in daily workflows for employees across divisions. Lagging and costly adoption of previous implementations.
  • VP EHS, US utility company. 2023 initiatives: reorganization that changed reporting structure and success measures, to broaden the mission to include Sustainability across existing divisions, to make far-reaching changes that will enable the organization to meet aggressive emissions goals. Recognizing the need for change management: People, processes, and technology changes in a long-tenured workforce with significant change fatigue.
  • CIO, US utility company. 2023 initiatives: increased adoption and upskilling in AI/ML, changes to requirements process and demand management to position IT in a more proactive, strategic role in the business. Recognizing the need for change management: Understaffed with a high rate of turnover, distrust due to past RIFs, and poor organizational health ratings led leaders to believe that culture change was needed hand in hand with major initiatives.
Launch Team has worked with leading energy and utility companies to help ensure the success of complex initiatives. Contact us to discuss your change plans and challenges.
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