We have a lot to say when it comes to disruption in the energy industry.
And our focus thus far has been on companies like Drift and Dandelion, lean organizations that are looking to reimagine the supply chain, focus on customer-centricity, and disrupt the utility and ESCO business model.
But what if utilities and ESCOs could be the disruptors rather than the disrupted?
Now that's a shift in the whole "disruption" conversation. Suddenly, a challenge becomes an opportunity.
Which brings us to Engie, a European utility that's actively trying to disrupt its own business model through major strategic shifts. So to get us all inspired (and challenged), here are three rules for making strategic shifts recently shared by Engie's CEO, Isabelle Kocher:
1. Complete dedication to the energy revolution.
Engie is committed to renewables, and it’s not just talking the renewable talk, it’s walking the walk: The company recently announced it won't pursue any future coal or oil generation projects. Period. Renewables are the future, and with this move Engie is setting itself up for its future, not remaining stuck in the past.
2. Work on different time horizons.
Like most other organizations, Engie is focused on short-term goals and metrics, but it is also investing billions of dollars in new technologies that could change the way it does business. Essentially, the company is ensuring profitability within its current model and simultaneously investing in ways to disrupt it. What could your organization achieve if it used that paradigm?
3. Change your culture.
Engie's organization was top down and hierarchical. Sound familiar? Well, when the company set out to disrupt its business model, leaders knew they also had to change their culture for the better. The old utility mind-set of the org chart was thrown out the window in favor of a more innovative approach. As Kocher notes, “The first duty of our team is not to do what the boss says. It’s to be extremely connected to the plants, the stakeholders.”
These three rules are adaptable to any organization, and they're helping Engie prove that disruption isn't only for startups. Large energy organizations also have the capacity to disrupt their own business models, rather than waiting for it to happen to them.
We know, we know, we know...change like that is difficult, practically unachievable at your position or current role, your company is too large and bureaucratic, it’s just not realistic...
But as you head into your weekend, ask yourself: What if it's possible?