This activity considers the level of readiness of innovation culture in the utility, including a review of the internal processes, its ambition and behavior, and resources dedicated to innovation, which can be to optimize existing customers or broader to develop breakthroughs). Also includes the partnerships (and the results) the utility has established with leading external organizations to foster innovation.
Companies are looking for ways to be more innovative in their activities, as it is through innovation that new processes and products can be created, generating new business, or reducing current costs. Although there are many tools and books that can assist in this process, for most utilities this process is still full of uncertainties.
In the power sector, there are successful cases in innovative products and processes that have changed the way activities are carried out. However, it is still difficult to establish which environment was created in each company that led to such innovation. It is also observed that in the power sector, mainly in utilities, there are no companies clearly recognized as innovative and of reference in the theme, as it exists in other sectors
According to extensive research conducted by MIT (MIT Sloan Management Review. “How Innovative Is Your Company’s Culture?”), an innovative culture can be defined into six main blocks: resources, processes, values, behavior, climate and success. Each block can be described as follow:
* Resources comprise three main factors: people, systems, and projects
* Processes are the route that innovations follow as they are developed
* Values drive priorities and decisions, which are reflected in how a company spends its time and money
* Behavior describes how people act in the cause of innovation (leaders and employees)
* Climate is the tenor of workplace life
* Success reinforces the enterprise’s values, behaviors and processes, which in turn drive many subsequent actions and decisions
In this sense, in recent paper (“Un pilar para la transformación sostenible: Guía para la elaboración de planes de innovación en empresas prestadoras de servicios de agua y saneamento”) BID understands that these six blocks are divided into two main categories: (i) character: all intangible aspects that constitute the substrate of the innovative culture of a company. It includes three blocks: behavior, climate and Innovative business context; and (ii) specification: the manifestations that reflect the materialization and accumulation of evidence of the innovative culture. It includes three blocks: resources, processes, and projection (or values).
Both studies indicate characteristics related to the climate, behavior and values of the company have a greater impact in innovative environments. In this way, the utility that wishes to foster this environment must apply efforts to the pillars mentioned above.
This activity of innovation in the utilities is currently under development and will be incorporated soon.