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The COVID 19 Event Will End, Are You Planning For The New Normal?

Jay Shaw's picture
Energy Professional Just Lead, LLC

Energy Professional with over 25 years experience in Fossil Fuel, Geothermal and Solar O&M. A key influencer in the areas of safety, leadership and cultural driven excellence....

  • Member since 2020
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  • Apr 16, 2020
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This morning the water was shut off in our neighborhood so some new homes across the street could be hooked up. The old power plant operator in me kicked in. Knowing what was going on, I shut off the main water valve to our home before they started. Then, when they were done, I found myself slowly cracking the valve open and slowly letting water system in my home refill. This kept pipes and fixtures from banging and being damaged.

Many executives and managers are dealing with a similar situation. The day-to-day flow has been interrupted. Have you given any thought to getting the flow going again when the economy opens up and you can go back to work? How do you do that without rushing in and creating chaos? If there is not a good plan in place, the transition back to work could be rough.

Many of develop and execute on a 30-60-90 plan when we take on new roles in organizations. Perhaps this is a good time to take stock of what needs to be done when work really gets going again. I would suggest a modified 30-60-90 day plan would be appropriate and in the end will provide a smooth glide path to normalizing your organization.

There are many things to consider, but here are some things directly related to our circumstances to think about when developing your plan.

1.      What have you learned about yourself, your team and your business during this event?

2.      What processes that are part of “we always do things this way” can be jettisoned?

3.      What new processes where discovered during this event and can those be utilized to make your organization even better coming out of this? How do you implement them?

4.      What will your team look like coming back? Will some be delayed due to illness in their homes? Did some leave for another position? How will you back-fill?

5.      How do you reengage with customers and stakeholders? Is there something that changed in their operations that you need to be aware of?

As I said there are many more elements to think about, this is just a primer.

Just as I was trying to ease the water back into my home this morning, so we all should consider how to ease back into our respective work practices and make sure we don’t rush in and do damage. We should take advantage of what we just went through and take a step closer to excellence. 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 16, 2020

Thoughtful questions, thanks for sharing Jay. These are definitely going to be interesting and important questions for utility execs to consider. And it's never too soon to be looking and planning towards this post-COVID time, as those who do will be the ones best prepared

What processes that are part of “we always do things this way” can be jettisoned?

This one jumps out for sure-- especially as it regards remote work. As utilities have long looked for ways to secure young and impressive talent coming out of college, a struggle has been how to compete with the tech industry and others that pull at the strongest candidate. If utilities come out of this more able to allow for remote work, at least part of the time, that could be a big differentiator that makes coming to work for the utility more appealing, I would think!

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