For Energy Companies to Navigate Decentralized Energy Resources, They’ll Need to Learn from Uber
- Apr 22, 2021 2:25 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-05 - Grid Modernization, click here for more
Many people use complicated and complex as synonyms, but the Cynefin framework draws important distinctions between the two. The transition of the global energy system from a centralized hub-and-spoke model to a distributed node-to-node model represents a fundamental change in the level of complexity of the system and so requires a mindset shift before any engineering solutions can be successful. If you’re unfamiliar with the Cynefin framework, it’s a decision-making aid developed by Welsh management consultant Dave Snowden in 1999. The framework identifies five different types of problems, but for our purposes, we’ll focus on the first three.
A “simple” problem is easy and highly predictable with few components and a clear recipe for resolution. “Complicated” problems might have many components that require deep expertise to understand, but they retain a high degree of predictability. “Complex” issues, on the other hand, are less predictable and contain inevitable surprises, and they’re based around what Snowden calls “unknown unknowns” — meaning cause and effect are really only informative after the fact.
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