The energy sector is historically one that was very conservative, slow to change, and long term in nature. This has shifted in a number of ways, primarily driven by the changing consumer, new market entrants, the energy transition, and a faster pace of change on the technology front. All of this means that new technologies are emerging that emit less and are more efficient; are smaller and more distributed; managed by not only utilities but also the consumer and; that can be designed and implemented at a much faster pace than ever before. This transition has stretched our human and organisational skills and competencies, as it requires different approaches and competencies such as:
The question that needs to be asked is whether energy sector players are organised and have a culture that enables these approaches? More often than not, strategy, risk, and leadership development in organisations are process-driven rather than people-driven. In order to navigate the emerging energy sector, these issues need to be integrated to speed up response times, ensure effective implementation of strategy, and most importantly, drive the right culture. Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. So why is it that we oftentimes consider people in change management processes to implement an already decided strategy, and not in the way in which people take decisions to develop that strategy and address positive and negative risk?
In the fast-changing environment, we operate in, we can no longer fail to fully consider individual mindsets and their impact on decision making. Climate change is a global threat and the energy sector’s rate of decline in greenhouse gas emissions is therefore critical. The energy market is fundamentally shifting and energy player business models also need to change. This means that energy sector players all need to move to unprecedented levels of collaboration and innovation and changing mindsets and risk appetite is fundamental in achieving that.