Innovation + Business Agility

Utilities must be proactive in embracing change and chasing innovation, or risk no longer being relevant and possibly failing to exist. This track will focus on technology, process and cultural changes that increase a business unit’s ability to be agile and implement practices that foster innovation across all levels of their organization.

Meet the Innovation + Business Agility Program Development Team.

March 10, 2020

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Showcasing Innovation
The Western Energy Institute (WEI) is looking for your great stories of innovation to be considered for an industry peer recognition award at the upcoming WEI Customer + Corporate Symposium in March of 2020.

Your story might feature a promising outside partnership, different approaches to creating a great customer experience, new products or services, better ways of accomplishing work, or a great technological advancement.

Submit your innovations for the 2020 Symposium and you might take home a seriously RAD trophy. In addition to a chance at the trophy, the top three submissions will have an opportunity to present their work during an Innovation + Business Agility track breakout session with the winning entry being announced during a general session on the last day of Symposium.

Submitting your innovation story for consideration could not be easier. If you think your story deserves recognition, please complete the short questionnaire here or contact Anna for a word document version. Applications are due before end of day December 16, 2019.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Tackling Roadblocks to Innovation
Speaker: Jim Downing, Chief Information Officer, NW Natural
Conrad Eustis, Principal and Founder, Reascend
Stephen Clemons, Chief Information Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Utilities are under dramatically new pressure from all angles. Utility customers are asking for more (more information, more control, more options), and utility regulations are increasing (NERC/CIP, EE, DR, EV), while financial regulation is behind on supporting Cloud IT, and we see new competitors in what has traditionally been a regulated monopoly. Multiple big oil companies are now entering our business. These changes, along with our traditional challenges of aging staff and infrastructure, have increased the pace and support required to come up with innovated solutions to tackle all of these issues. So we ask ourselves what are the roadblocks to this necessary innovation, how can we remove those roadblocks, and what solutions are utilities coming up with to remove the roadblocks? Come to our panel discussion and hear what leaders in innovation have done to try to remove the roadblocks and allow the required innovation to happen.

3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
How to be More Like Amazon and Innovate Faster
Speakers: Joe Beer, Worldwide Technical Leader – Power & Utilities Industry Principal Solution Architect, Amazon Web Services
Stephen Brozovich, Principal Evangelist, Amazon Web Service
How has Amazon been able to create a culture of innovation and what can utilities learn from them to innovate faster?

March 11, 2020

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
How to Green Light Your Innovation Project
How do you create a business case for today’s innovation? Hear examples of how utilities have successfully substantiated investments in non-traditional utility innovation, and identify best practices for measuring success and incentivizing future innovation.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Establishing a Culture of Innovation in an Increasingly Complex Environment
Panelists: Greg Smith, Agile Coach and Practitioner, Self Employed
Mark Warren, Director, Business Innovation & Measurement, FortisBC
Travis Metcalfe, Strategy, Innovation and Engagement Manager, Tacoma Power
The times they are a-changing. It’s no longer enough to deliver energy reliably and safely; the modern utility must innovate in order to survive. But how do you ensure innovation is more than just a fad and something employees instinctively do when they’re at work? And what can we learn from organizations where this is already the case? Find out in this interactive and engaging panel discussion.