Innovation + Business Agility

How can utilities be more proactive in embracing change and chasing innovation? 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. Learn more about the Customer + Corporate Symposium.

All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Breaking Down Silos between Technology and the Business
Moderator: Anuya Sheorey, Manager of Digital Experience, Arizona Public Service Company
Panelists: Jeff Spohn, Director, Distribution Operations and Maintenance, Arizona Public Service Company
John Aliotti, IT Manager, Business Relationship Programs Strategy, Planning and Governance, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Peter Lijnse, Leadership Coach, Lead The Pack Consulting
2020 has been a year like no other. Change has been the only reliable constant, and technology has played an increased role in enabling operations. There is an onslaught of new and emerging technologies that could potentially deliver incredible value to the organization. How can people tasked with driving new initiatives to embrace technology stay ahead of the curve?  In this session, you will hear from a panel of leaders who have practical experience collaborating and breaking down silos with their IT organizations and other groups. They will share how they have enabled cross-functional teams in their organization to co-create solutions.

2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Replicating Crisis-Driven Innovation and Agility
Moderator: Jennifer Lefevre, Municipal Partnerships Manager, ENMAX Corporation
Speakers: Erin Swearingen, Senior Program Manager, Enterprise Business Continuity, Avista Corp.
Nidal Dabghi, Director – Distribution Operations & Maintenance, SaskPower
Ryan Truair, Sr. Manager Code Compliance, NW Natural
Sheldon Smith, Customer Care & Billing, SaskPower
Utilities have rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 emergency in ways that were never thought possible prior to the pandemic.  In crisis situations, utilities often rise to the occasion and act quickly to deploy innovative solutions.  What can utilities learn from their actions during a crisis and how can they ensure this level of innovation and agility continues long after the crisis ends?  Hear success stories from utilities that surprised themselves with the ways they were able to adapt and how to sustain that innovation going forward.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
How Technology Can Guide your Safety Culture
Speakers: Ben Nickels, Training Analyst, Salt River Project
Brendan King, Fleet Engineering Operations Manager, Salt River Project
Dennis Cox, Employee Safety Services Manager, Salt River Project
Imagine that it’s your first day on the job and your task is to locate utility lines for a new project. No problem right?  Now, imagine that you have to locate those lines in the middle of moving traffic. It’s a good thing your company trained you by using Virtual Reality so that you are familiar with all safety guidelines and confident that you can get this job done. This session will focus on safety in our utility companies and how we can cultivate a culture of safety by embracing technology and encouraging the business side and the technology side to collaborate for results.

12:30 – 1:45 PM
Integrating the Customer Lens from Design Through to Implementation
Speaker: Dan Bowermaster, Sr. Program Manager, Electric Transportation, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Bill Boyce, Supervisor, Electric Transportation, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Monika Curman, CX Program Manager, BC Hydro
Thomas Baker, Managing Director and Partner, The Boston Consulting Group
Creating products and services that meet the needs and expectations of our customers requires us to develop a deep understanding of our customers and a willingness to challenge our own assumptions of what we think those needs and expectations are. In this session, you’ll hear about some ways your peers are actively applying the customer lens in their work from creating a vision through to design and implementation.