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Episode #106: 'Infusing Innovation Across The Utility Sector' With Alan MacAnespie, Baltimore Gas & Electric [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

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The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry...

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  • Dec 23, 2022

Innovation is a state of ongoing action for any company, including utilities. That is to say, innovation is not about achieving some hypothetical level or process, but it's about continuous improvement and working towards the next possibility driven by innovative culture and ways of thinking. In today's utility sector which is undoubtedly changing more than ever before, the importance of understanding what it is to embrace innovation and everything it means cannot be overstated.

That said, too many organizations will still position innovation as a checkbox to be marked by the Board of Directors or in annual reviews rather than focusing on what it really means and how it's evolving constantly. As a creative and driven force at Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), no one may better embody that spirit of innovation than Alan MacAnespie, BGE's Principal Innovation Specialist. In this episode of the podcast, host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester eagerly dive back into the fundamental who, what, why, and-- most importantly-- how of innovation at BGE with Alan as the tour guide.

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Thanks to the sponsor of this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast: West Monroe.  


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Jason Price: 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast, where we bring into the podcast booth leading voices in the world of power and utilities to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and trends they see as transforming and modernizing our energy systems and the utility industry of the future. And a quick thank you to West Monroe, our sponsor of today's show. Now, let's talk energy. I am Jason Price, Energy Central podcast host and Director with West Monroe, coming to you from New York City. And with me as always from Orlando, Florida is Energy Central Producer and Community Manager, Matt Chester.

Matt, oftentimes, when we talk about the movers and shakers in the energy industry, we're talking about the CEOs and other executives in the C-suite. But as you and I know well from our conversations with everyone from top to bottom of the utility industry, sometimes the most influential people at a power company may be working not at an executive level, but from those who are instead affecting change right in the thick of the operations. And in fact, these are the teams where true innovation can come from. And Matt, I have a feeling that our listeners today are about to learn from one of the best motivators of innovation from within the utility industry that the sector has to offer. So I want to hand it over to you, Matt, and give us a little bit of a background in terms of what you are anticipating for this call.


Matt Chester: 

Absolutely. And to first look back at some of those episodes we've had featuring innovation. We always seem to get some of the richest conversations when we speak to those, the resident innovators in chief, if you will, of various utilities. We spoke about innovation culture with Josh Gould of Duquesne Light company in Episode 32. We covered what it means to be innovative in a traditionally slow to move industry that utilities are with Jody Allison of Algonquin Power in Episode 33. And we got an insight peek into the future of innovation from Con Edison's Director of R&D, King Look, in Episode 80. And we've even heard about innovation in a non-technical sense, but more on a company-wide basis. When we talked to Calvin Butler, who was recently elevated to President and CEO of Exelon, the parent company of where today's guests join us from.

So the innovation topic, it's one that keeps popping up. It's one that our listeners want to hear about. And it's because in a industry that's been so stagnant in the past, perhaps slow to move, like I said, the future looks bright, and as new technologies and new programs and new ideas really take hold. So that's what I'm looking forward to hearing about today.


Jason Price: 

Yeah, I agree. That was a great summary too, Matt, so I appreciate that. Today's guest says innovation right in his job title. He's the principal innovation specialist at Baltimore Gas and Electric, and he's self-described as insatiably curious. And based on our earlier conversations with him where we got a view of his workshop that even would excite Santa's elves. We got to hear about his myriad of hobbies across the worlds of woodworking, digital technology creation, and more. I think it's a fair assessment that we have the right guest today. Today, we're joined by Alan MacAnespie, and we're eager to hear how he takes the self-driven spirit for innovation and continuous self-improvement, and instills it to his coworkers across Baltimore Gas and Electric. Alan, welcome to the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.


Alan MacAnespie:

Thanks so much. I'm happy to be here. Looking like it's pretty exciting.


Jason Price: 

Absolutely. And we're thrilled to have you here. So let's just jump into things. Alan, I'm not sure that every utility company out there has an innovation specialist designated on their staff. So I'm wondering, if you can start by just driving into what exactly that title means. What is your day-to-day as an innovation pusher at BG look like?


Alan MacAnespie:

Well, an innovation specialist is somebody who is really trained in the concepts of how to motivate a culture change in a company. My official department name is Emerging Technologies and Innovation. So in a lot of traditional R&D's types of roles that other utilities have, we have both R&D and innovation in our team. So we're not only looking at advanced technologies and even futuristic capabilities or technologies that might be happening. But from the innovation perspective, we're also looking at, how are we going to have the company improve itself? How are we going to not just go for continuous improvement, but that step change that involves bringing new value to innovation and bringing that innovative mindset to the company? So some of my day-to-day activities are going to be everything from exploring and trying to research technologies and companies that maybe we could partner with, or vendors that could be bringing about new capabilities and new features to the company. But also on how we can inspire and how we can bring about culture change to the workforce.

There's everything from talking to executives and briefing them and letting them know about projects that are moving forward. The culture mindset and how to have everyone in the company think about their job and ways in which they can improve it. So it's not just going to be about continuous improvement. Everybody does the Six Sigma and there's the black belt technology advancements of where you're making incremental change and you're constantly improving. But innovation is about that step change. It's about the big change that can happen, and it's also about making change for bringing about value. So in many ways, I'm a storyteller. I try and relate different topics. I bring those conversations and I bring those new project that are going to be modifying how the company is working. And maybe it's going to be a new process, maybe it's a new product, maybe it's a new technique. Sometimes it's even an old technique that we bring back and we realize that it's better than what we're doing now.


Jason Price: 

Okay. So let's take this a little bit, say out of the abstract and let's get to some of the tangibles. I mean, keep in mind we've got listeners from the industry as well as even newcomers who may be contemplating even a career path in the utility industry. So help inspire and enlighten us all in terms of what are some tangible examples and outcomes of the type of innovation projects that you've seen, say come to fruition at BG&E?


Alan MacAnespie:

Well, some things we are doing, certainly we have a campaign that we're working towards, it's called Path to Clean. And this is looking at being able to reduce the emissions for our operations from our day-to-day activities. We're a utility company that we are not providing generation, we're just conveying those electrons and the natural gas BTUs. But one of the things that we're doing is that we are on a move forward to reduce our carbon emissions down to zero, and we are looking at a net zero carbon output by 2050. That's ambitious. So as part of that, one of the projects that we've done with our fleet services is that we've been working with a company to develop means in which we can reduce the amount of idling that the vehicles may be doing. So we're in the process of transitioning to more electric services and whether or not we go to an all electric fleet, that's going to be something that's happening in the future.

But when the vehicles are consuming the fuel for keeping the cab warm or providing the power for the hydraulics. What we have worked with is a company that has redesigned with us the bucket truck, so that the system is powered by battery to keep the vehicles cab climate controlled so that in the summertime when it's hot, the workers can take a break inside and prevent heat exhaustion, or if the temperatures are getting colder. In Maryland where we are based, there is quite the variety of temperatures. We can have heavy snowfall just like it gets in the north, and we can have hot steamy days just like it could be in the south. So that climate conditioning of the cab gets our workers to be safer and to be able to be more productive. But it also allows them to be able to operate in a neighborhood where they could run the bucket truck and run the hydraulics off of the standby battery where they could run that for the whole shift, and they're not providing any noise.

So we're actually reducing the amount of noise in the neighborhood. So this has been talked about and there's been other different concepts, and certainly as we start moving forward to where we're having all electric bucket trucks or other heavy-duty vehicles. This is a transitional step that was really quite innovative because it allows us to deploy it now without having to consider all the ramifications of having an all electric fleet, which is the possibilities of where we could be in the future.


Jason Price: 

That's a great example. You're not creating a product, you're making a product better in the case of the bucket truck example you gave. So that's very helpful.


Alan MacAnespie:

That's right. Oh, I'm sorry, I interrupted. But the consideration that innovation is not always about the product, and we work on that to where anytime we're saying, "Well, what is the return on investment for the individual projects that may be getting proposed?" We really try and stay away from saying cost or cost savings. Yes, those are significant and they are very challenging in this day when we're working with a lot of challenges towards inflation and supply chain. But we talk about value, value is going to be something that's beyond just about money because the value can be on a change in a process. Maybe it's a process or a procedure that we're doing in a completely different way that's going to bring about a cost savings, yes.

But what if it's going to improve safety? Well, there are times in which we're going to be doing safety features that are going to cost more. But if you can have value that's brought forward, that's improving the environment impact, reducing our emissions, or is impacting the time that it takes, or the impact that it's having on the community. All of those are bringing value forward that's going to say that this is an innovative process, and it's not just going to be about the technology. It's not going to be just about a product.


Jason Price: 

Right. And I think that also sits well with the regulators too, right? It's not costing the customer necessarily more or costing the rate base to have to address these. Alan, Matt mentioned the talented speakers we've had in this category. You mentioned Josh Gould from Duquesne, Jody Allison from Algonquin, King Look from Con Edison, but you're a small, say elite class. So my question to you is, why do you think that there's not more Alan's at other utilities?


Alan MacAnespie:

Well, it's really fascinating. Your other guests of Calvin Butler who I have worked with at times in the past. And we actually, on a quarterly basis, all of the utilities that are part of the Exelon family of companies, we all report in what our current innovation projects are. And there are a number of times in which we cooperate between the utilities. All of the utilities inside of Exelon have an innovation core team. Whether they are an innovation and R&D manager, or in my case, I'm part of a team, I'm not the only specialist. But the concept of having an ecosystem inside of the company that allows both individual departments where we have a team of what we call Innovation Leads and Ambassadors, those leads are expected to spend about 20% of their time working on innovation projects or moving innovation projects forward. And those innovation ambassadors are really expected to spend a little bit of time, five to 10% of their time working on innovation projects. But they are boots on the ground. They're working in their individual divisions or in their individual business units.

Whether it's folks that are working in customer operations and the call centers, they're coming up with new ideas, new ways in which they can engage with the customers of the telecom systems, or with new procedures, or new methods of which we can engage with the community. We have individuals that are structured for constant improvement and continuous improvement. And that's the traditional path that many utilities start with is they're saying, "We have continuous improvement. We want to constantly be able to hit those KPIs and we want to be able to improve our safety and KD numbers." But it's when they realize that they are not going to be able to incrementally get themselves to the next plane, or to take themselves to the next level is when they start looking at, how can innovation be the step change?

There are lots of places that will include innovation in their name. There are lots of job descriptions that we'll talk about, the fact that they're doing smart meters and innovation, that's a very common one. But an innovation specialist is much more about trying to work with each team to bring forward that team's best changes. And I really consider myself to be a generalist. I was trained as computer scientist, but as you had alluded to, I have a lot of hobbies. I have a dangerous number of hobbies that I do. So I really kind of, because of my curiosity and my desire to learn, it allows me to go and work with each and every department and find out, what are the things that they're doing? How can things advanced? I by no means can understand much of what it is they're doing, but I work with the team members who understand it and I coax them, and I help with the training process.

And we have an entire training ecosystem and culture throughout our company. I'm part of a larger organizational structure inside of both Exelon and at BG&E that has hundreds of people that are involved with how we do innovation. And the things that we work towards every day is, how can we get the company to change themselves? So in most cases, I'm not going to be the driver of the project. There are times in which I've become passionate about them and I want to work on them myself, but in most cases, I'm a catalyst. I'm somebody who is there to transform that team's notions of what they can do. And our team does provide funding. We will work at times to say, "Okay. Your department can afford to take on the risk of this project, or a pilot that may be a little bit more risky," so we'll fund it.

And we'll provide some financial support, and maybe even some other resources that can help them move that forward when their own department can't do that. In generally, most utilities don't necessarily have an innovation specialist because they don't think of innovation as being a process. They tend to think of innovation as being a destination. They really think of innovation as being a noun rather than as an adverb or as a verb.


Jason Price: 

I want to dig into that a little bit further. So I mean, with Exelon, excellence in some respect is the exception, you do a lot of things very well, and there's great leadership to speak to that. To your point, you have a culture of innovation at your company. But talk for a moment to all the, let's say, aspiring Alan's who are listening and thinking about, and how that motivation and curiosity about innovation. And let's say they're at another power provider and they would basically want to do what you're doing. What advice could you give them? What kind of direction could you provide them so that they can start the path of innovation like you're experiencing at BG&E?


Alan MacAnespie:

I think it's learn, learn from your peers. You find out some of the different resources and capabilities that are out there. We see things like Energy Central talks about innovation, and they talk about some of the different, you'll see the lists of the 10 most innovative technologies, or the different procedures that might get adopted. And in many cases, what we do is we're learning from other industries. If we're going to be a leader, then we're going to learn from the utility space and the power generation environment, which Exelon was part of. That the ability for us to understand what this environment is like and how we're going to transform. We started looking elsewhere. So we looked at industry leaders and companies that were going through transformation. So we looked at Disney, we looked at Silicon Valley projects, we looked at different ways in which technology and the structure of a business might be coming along with disruption.

But disruption for its own sake is not going to be innovation. It's not always something that's worthwhile, and it's definitely not responsible to go off and say, "I'm going to adopt an entire business model that's just going to disrupt the industry, but not necessarily fix it." So in some ways, Silicon Valley, that stereotypical mindset of, we're going to just disrupt this industry, is not necessarily going to be useful if you're not replacing it with something it's going to be worthwhile. So in many ways, a way in which any utility is going to want to transform is to become informed. There was a recent study that was saying that, I think it was 47% of new Gen Xers and millennials that would be joining a company would really want to leave and join another company if it meant they would be involved in more innovation projects, or working with a company that is more innovative.

So in this age in which the marketplace is desperate for being able to bring on dedicated and engaging employees, you have to provide that environment. You have to be enticing because people want to change the world. They want a purpose, and it's not just going to be about money. So a traditional utility, BG&E is actually the nation's oldest utility. We're over 200 years old. But we have to constantly reinvent ourselves. We have to be enticing certainly, but we need to be able to provide and deliver in ways that have never been done before. If we're going to be making tremendous changes in responses to electrification, to try and deal with better grid resiliency. If we want to be able to respond to climate change and be good advocates for equity, then we're going to have to figure out completely new ways of doing some of our activities and our operations.

But we have to do that in a way that's responsible for how we're going to still be reliable. So any utility that's going to transform itself has to look at others as examples. So I think that in the cases of where you find out at, say Edison Electric or at DISTRIBUTECH, or some of these other industry situations or industry conventions that are going on, you can see how other companies are transforming and what's going on. So it's very much about learning from others.


Jason Price: 

All right, Alan, you're definitely inspiring the next generation leaders in the utility industry, but let's talk now about the here and now. And let's imagine that there are executives who are really listening intently in what you have to say, and are starting to maybe self-reflect. Help this executive understand, maybe start by demystifying some of the areas of innovation. And what are some of the common pitfalls that you advise that such an executive should avoid? Should he or she start thinking about making some investments in building an innovation practice?


Alan MacAnespie:

Well, it's a pretty common thing that if you see where the mistakes can happen for innovation, it's often where you'll get the executives or the boardroom is going to say, "Give me a bushel bucket of innovation, because I want to be able to just bring that and inject it into my company." That's not the way that it's going to work. It has to be a cultural change. In most cases, you have to have an innovation champion that's at the top. Our retiring president, Chris Crane, and our incoming president, Calvin Butler are both pretty amazing champions for innovation. And Calvin was actually CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric. And we had tremendous amounts of sponsorship and air cover coming from the executive grant. So if you think about it, the way that it's going to get started is you have to have an innovation champion. It has to be somebody who believes in it and is willing to put their money where their mouth is, that you have to invest in it.

So if you think about it, the sponsorship is going to come from the top. Innovation is going to come from the bottom. It's not going to be things that you're going to be able to push from the top down. And in many cases, if you're doing that, you'll meet the resistance where the workforce wants to innovate, they want to have suggestions, they want to have new methods of doing things, they want to improve. And the executives want it to happen. So where it ends up happening is it ends up crashing in the middle. And middle management is often cited as being the last area to adopt an innovative attitude, because they have deadlines to meet. And they have responsibilities that they expect are not allowing for having time for innovation. So it has to be a constant and persistent activity. And it can't be something in which you decide, "Okay. Well, we're going to spend the next year working on innovation and if it doesn't work on that, then we'll try something else or we're going to give up."

So it has to be longstanding, it has to have something that is backed with true measures. Innovation can be disruptive in the results, or you can be doing some step change. That does not mean that it is not disciplined, it is not following structure. It does need to be something that's measured. You have to find out how the health of the program is going. So a much of my work is measuring what's going on and looking at where there are maybe are areas of health that we can address. If we have lots of new ideas that are coming in, great, that's healthy. But if those ideas aren't getting transformed into pilots or prototypes, maybe there's a problem in which we're not quite getting enough resources to make it happen. If projects are up and running but they're never completing or they're never finishing, maybe that's something that we need to look at from the director level that they're providing the drive for results and that we need to be able to get projects finished.

And then if you're getting projects and pilots that are completing, but then they're not actually launching, well then you can really have the executives come in and say, "Look, we've put in this, we see the transformation, we see what's happening, why isn't it moving forward?" And then finally, and Exelon is in a wonderful situation of where we have six utilities in our family that we generate ideas in all these different utilities. And when we create a pilot or a prototype, we coordinate with the others so that we're not duplicating effort. But once we've launched that project, we do what's called a cross opco opportunity, which means, "Hey, BG&E's come up with this really great idea and we've launched it." The other opcos can look at it and say, "Hey, that applies to us. We're going to launch it right away." And they don't have to do the research, because it's already been done.

So then now you're talking about scale. And at that point, that's where the executive leadership is coordinating and setting up an environment of peer sharing and cooperation between those teams. So if you really want to change the culture of the company, you have to infuse it with dollars to make it happen, but a continuous attitude that's going to make that work move forward, and you have to put some measure against it. You have to make sure that if you're going to be saying, "We're doing innovation," then measure that, see the results, then reflect it back and celebrate it. And you have to be willing to take the risks, and you have to be willing to allow failure and learn from those failures because otherwise you're just going to fall into the same old process that we've had for many, many years in which nobody wants to step out because they're afraid of failure and what that's going to mean.

So taking on that innovation attitude means accepting possibilities of failure, accepting the possibilities of less return because you're going to be moving forward. But maybe it's going to be higher reward because you've got that uncertainty there. You might have something that's going to be a true change.


Jason Price: 

That was very helpful and thorough. So I thank you for that. So before we jump to the anticipated lightning round, Alan, we want to hear from you. We spoke about in our pre-call and preparing for this session about a project that you're working on. It sounds really special. You're running in at BG&E, you coined the title, A Legacy Story, and I'd like you to share a bit of it to our audience. So do you mind sharing a few of that, basically a background of this?


Alan MacAnespie:

Sure. BG&E every year has a diversity, equity, and inclusion week. And one of the projects that I was going to be looking into was, in the past, before COVID, crews would be learning from the elder statesmen, I got in trouble for calling them the older workers. But those that have had experience, line workers or the gas workers that have been out on the field and they know what's going on, and the new ones that are coming on board. During the pandemic and during COVID, we were having a lot of restrictions so that people were seeking their own transportation, or they were working socially distanced. And they wouldn't sit in the truck together when they were waiting for permits to get pulled or for a contractor to get finished. And they were missing out on the stories, and they're missing out on a lot of the heritage of what's going on.

Both stories of safety, stories of brotherhood, and working together, how to get things done, or how to be cautious about things. And the dream that we're trying to get started here, we've had one event so far in which we had a number of panelists that included some very talented members of our teams, both retired as well as those that are maybe about to retire. And telling stories of what was transformative in their career, what were the things that got them excited about what they were doing, some of the history of the infrastructure. And with BG&E and some of our environment, we've been doing gas for 200 years, we have infrastructure in our environment that is 150 years old and it's still working and is still tremendous. We're in the process of a multi-decade replacement process that's going through with that. But these guys are able to give a perspective that we don't normally have.

So I want to continue this. So we're intending on trying to tell these stories and to capture some of the legacy of what's going on in our company. We have multi-generational crew members. We have folks whose father and grandfather have worked for the company. We have a number of women who have come on board who are excited about being able to share the career path for new young women who maybe want to come into the career of working in the field. And these are exciting examples that we could really put forward, maybe inspire a whole new generation of folks who have not had that same storytelling and that same, we even called them parables, because in some cases there's stories with a lesson.

And the possibility of being able to have a way in which we can capture recordings and videos, and interviews and panels that are giving these lifetime experiences and sometimes lifetime transformational lessons that are coming across. We just can't afford to give that up. And so there's a lot of excitement about trying to develop ways in which we can tell these stories in a number of different scenarios and situations.


Jason Price: 

Agreed. I mean, you have a rich heritage to pass on. You're doing a great job capturing that and passing it to the next generation. Very important. Great words. Great lessons here. All right. So we're going to pivot now to what we call the lightning round, which gives us an opportunity to learn more about you, the person, not you, the professional. So each question has a one word or phrase response, and there's five of these questions. So Alan, are you ready?


Alan MacAnespie:

I think so. I'm not sure, but let's go for it.


Jason Price: 

Okay. As a routine hobbyist, what's the best low entry hobby you'd recommend someone to pick up?


Alan MacAnespie:

I thought a lot about this and I think that for me, the easy low entry, and it's going to be different for everybody, the point of a hobby is going to be not only for renewal and refreshing, and for some people it's going to be passion or even obsession. For me, I think the best low entry hobby is probably about collecting. For me, it's about learning, it's about understanding or exploring a new place in the world or a new pattern of what's going on. But collecting is a really cool way of being able to learn a lot, and that collection can be everything from a digital thing. People just, they collect experiences, or they collect pictures in digital format all the way up to collecting objects. I have an unfortunate thing for my family is that I have a collection of antique tractors, so that can be a pretty heavy lift. But an easy entry I think is from the collecting standpoint.


Jason Price: 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


Alan MacAnespie:

I think for me, it's probably going to come down to the ability to heal. And that healing can be both from a physical or even a spiritual aspect. The concept of being able to bring somebody relief from pain is probably where I would want to be.


Jason Price: 

If you can invite one fictional or historical figure to a dinner party, who are you inviting?


Alan MacAnespie:

I'm a man of faith, and so I think that I would probably want to have dinner with Jesus. But I'd want the historical Jesus, not the one that other people maybe think he is. But for me, that would also be pretty intimidating. But I think that any of the others, it would be more difficult. If I went with somebody like Galileo, then now I'm going to have to learn Italian, because I suspect that he's not going to talk to Aramaic at me.


Jason Price: 

He may.


Alan MacAnespie:

But I can understand it.


Jason Price: 

What motivates you during particularly long or stressful work days?


Alan MacAnespie:

It's got to be people. I am an introvert. I pretend and I can work in being an extrovert, and anybody who hears me talk, as you guys have already recognized, I can pretend pretty well. But I think that really what gets me up and going in the morning is knowing the kinds of interactions that I'm going to have, and the kinds of things that people are going to teach me. I've been doing this role for a little over 10 years, and the kinds of experiences and the kind of people that I've met have allowed me to be the consummate student. Mike Rowe in Dirty Jobs has said that he's always been the consummate apprentice in every opportunity or every situation that he's been in. That's really what gets me going is the fact that I'm going to get taught something new by somebody else that I've worked with.


Jason Price: 

And I'm excited for the next response to this question. Last one. What are you most optimistic about?


Alan MacAnespie:

I think it's also about people. I mean, certainly we're recording this in late 2022 when there's a lot of concerns about the war and rumors of war, and of the economy and other sorts of things. But I'm also somebody that if you look at the long game, and if you look at where we are, the ability for people to adjust and to persevere. My mother and father were born in the Great Depression, and they lived through that. And they taught me a lot of values about what it means to go through times of crisis in which your entire community or your entire culture is being impacted. And it was always about relying on your friends, relying on your neighbors, and helping others.

And if it is going to be in that cooperative nature of how our company and how our community and how our country is going to get along, it's going to be about looking at each other and seeing eternal souls that are deserving of working together and being cooperative in terms of how we are going to overcome things. Yeah. I guess that is the ultimate optimism, isn't it? Talking about saving civilization and moving forward. But I do really think it is about everybody working together and doing things that way.


Jason Price: 

Alan, you sound like the right man for the right job at the right company. So you're doing some right things here and nicely stated in the final closing. So actually speaking of closing, you've done a great job navigating through the lightning round, and because of that, you earn the right to give your closing thoughts. So if you're speaking to your peers and partners across the sector, what is the final takeaway message that you hope they take from today's conversation?


Alan MacAnespie:

I think it really comes down to the fact that if you really want to be about changing the world, if you really want to be about having the company value you, then you've got to put in the time, you've got to be somebody who's going to be dedicated to working on things. But that work-life balance has got to be there. And company that wants to transform, a company that wants to change, we use the term reinvent at Exelon and at BG&E. If we want the company to reinvent itself, then it's going to be done by people, and it's going to be done by individuals, and it's going to be done by teams that want to work together and want to advance that. So I think that to make a change, you get out there, you learn about what's happening, you look at ways in which you can make an impact to the company, way you can do new and novel types of solutions or projects. And be bold, make proposals, speak up, you're going to have some pushback, and you need to listen.

That's the thing that I've certainly taken from the advice of those in the legacy is, yeah, sometimes you want to speak up because you want the leaders or the supervisors to be brought to attention of something that maybe is related to safety. But it is also going to be that you want to pay attention to their advice because they've already been there and they've done this. So finding that balance and working towards that is really the place to be. So I think that for me, it's about learning about what's happening, ask others, share about what you're doing, be bold and moving forward, and make some changes.


Jason Price: 

Well, Alan, I've really enjoyed this conversation. I'm fully confident the community of listeners are going to feel the same. We certainly encourage them to leave questions and comments, and welcome your input and feedback on these questions, Alan. So we hope you continue to stay connected with us through the platform. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts in today's episode.


Alan MacAnespie:

Well, thanks for having me. I've really appreciated being able to speak out and I've learned quite a few things from you guys too.


Jason Price: 

Much appreciate that. And certainly you can always reach Alan through the Energy Central platform where he welcomes your questions and comments. And we'd like to give a shout out of thanks to the podcast sponsors that made today's episode possible. Thanks to West Monroe. West Monroe works of the nation's largest electric gas and water utilities in their telecommunication, grid modernization, and digital and workforce transformations. West Monroe brings a multidisciplinary team that blends utility, operations, and technology expertise to address modernizing aging infrastructure, advisory on transportation electrification, ADMS deployments, data and analytics, and cybersecurity. And once again, I'm your host, Jason Price. So stay plugged in and fully charged in the discussion by hopping into the community at energycentral.com. And we'll see you next time at the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.


About Energy Central Podcasts

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 of your peers working in the power industry.

The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason PriceCommunity Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.  

If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We’ll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you’d like to see broken down in more detail in a conversation, feel free to send us a note to nominate them.  For more information, contact us at community@energycentral.com. Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility.  We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors. 

Happy listening, and stay tuned for our next episode! Like what you hear, have a suggestion for future episodes, or a question for our guest? Leave a note in the comments below.

All new episodes of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast will be posted to the relevant Energy Central community group, but you can also subscribe to the podcast at all the major podcast outlets, including:


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