Spurring Smart Talk About Smart Grid

Spurring Smart Talk About Smart Grid

Posted by Brad Denny on July 22, 2013

Depending on where you work or where you live, you may already be familiar with the major shift going on in the electrical utility industry toward Smart Grid/smart metering technology. It’s a truly revolutionary change for the industry and has the potential to dramatically reduce energy usage and costs—something that should resonate as positively with customers as it does with utilities. But that hasn’t been the case.

Many utilities are having trouble engaging customers in the Smart Grid concept. That lack of enthusiasm—at least partially attributable to lack of information or misinformation—can hold back Smart Grid adoption and jeopardize utilities’ return on investment. It’s a major issue in the industry: How can utilities build customer engagement and enthusiasm? How can they motivate and manage the behavior change necessary for Smart Grid adoption?

Building engagement. Motivating and managing change. Transitioning from the old way to a transformational new way. HR can clearly offer the business insight and guidance here. Even more so because social media and mobile technology, guided by analytics, provide additional engagement platforms for utilities to use. These are methods are already being embraced in other industries. (See the 2013 Human Capital Tends.)

Advancing the utility’s understanding and use of social media and mobile technology to engage customers is one of the “crucial conversations” HR leaders should be initiating and fostering among their utility’s leadership team. The Deloitte publication Getting Smart Grid customers plugged in: Motivating change through mobile and social technology can help get the conversation started. Share it with the Smart Grid leader, the CIO, the head of customer service—all the leaders who have a stake in Smart Grid adoption. Get them talking about how to reach customers, evaluating the maturity of the organization’s customer engagement strategy, and understanding the value of new approaches. If Smart Grid technology represents the future of the industry, mobile and social technology represent part of the means to that end. And HR is the driver that can help make it happen.

Brad DennyBrad Denny Brad is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting. He leads Deloitte’s Human Capital practice for Power & Utilities. With almost 20 years of leadership, organizational change management and strategy experience, Brad is focused on helping organizations and individuals navigate large-scale transformations in the Power & Utilities industry. His experience is centered mostly around the organizational side of mergers and acquisitions, organization design, change management, technology adoption (CIS, Smart Grid, ERP, etc.), leadership alignment, and talent management.

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