Part 2/7: 3 ways how energy companies can learn from startups

A few months ago I had a meeting with a newly appointed business executive in an energy company. He was young, around my age. So was his colleague executive. As we were all the same age, we somehow stumbled upon the topic of the conservatism in the business sector.

We were all on the same page, the business sector hasn’t had any major transformation-points during the last 50 years and I said: On the other hand, this gives you, especially since you are young, a great opportunity to see and do things differently, more agile. Right?

According to Virgin.comThe electricity sector is one of the last bastions of the 20th century economy that has yet to feel the full transformative power of the internet and information technology (IT) revolution.  

As I wrote before, in the following years we will see a massive transformation of the energy market, lead by digitalization. Clearly, conservative ways-of-working will not build the energy company 2.0.

Here are 3 simple rules on how to get ahead on the future competition:

  1. Creating the culture. As a business owner you need to challenge both yourself and your team. In my opinion, the first rule for building a strong company culture is to give people a strong mission. Making your strategy to build the energy company 2.0 is a great goal. How can you implement such a mindset through whole of your organization?
  2. Co-designingAs I wrote in part 1/7: Since electricity is seen as a commodity, what are the customers expectations level? Naturally, we except to have the lights turned on when pressing the switch, but what else? So why not involve the customer in designing the new future customer experiences? 
  3. Step up the pace. Too often we tend to spend 80% on planning and 20% on execution. Stepping up the pace, doesn’t necessarily mean doubling the amount of working hours. Planning is of course important, but we need to change the game. The new service doesn’t need to be 100% ready before touching market. Get it out fast, get the feedback, learn and improve. Transforming from commodity sales to service sales will be all about execution.