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Utilities crave the power of innovation, why can’t they harness it?

Only 40% of utility executives have seen measurable change through innovation.

Most are missing a critical element to innovative cultures: attracting, empowering and retaining the right people.

Remember that these and other outcomes represent digital’s potential, not guaranteed benefits from incorporating new technologies. Establish people as the nexus between digital transformation and innovation to maximize digital’s value.

“Organizations need to think about innovation as a way of being, building a culture, constantly exploring, developing, evolving, and adapting. It will result in innovative solutions.”
Jason Carter
Water Strategy & Innovation Lead
“Innovation helps develop the mindset that we need to face uncertainty, try new things and to come up with different ways of working. And if a utility has an innovation program it can provide the structure for this change.”
Joanna Brunner
Senior Management Consultant

5 steps to building an innovative culture

Ensure business alignment and oraganization support

Implement a governance committee that makes executives and other leaders a driving force of innovation. This will change culture from the top down and align all innovation efforts with your business goals.


Develop strategic business plans that incorporate digitally enabled innovation as a core element of your strategy. Integrate innovating into the business rather than creating separate innovation efforts disconnected from real-world utility functions.

Risk Benefit Analysis

Partner with new types of talent, such as data scientists, and focus recruiting efforts on mindsets and working styles rather than skillsets that will become obselete. Create digital platforms and workspaces angled to recruit and retain next-generation employees.


Tear down data silos and use business intelligence tools to collaborate over data and explore new improvements. Keep in mind that technology is a catalyst to change how you do business.

Business plan for change

Consider a value management framework and measure components such as collaboration, communication, visualization, knowledge transfer and exploration,

Continue reading about the five fundamentals of becoming a fit-for-future water utility — and discover the common thread woven through each: people.

Visit the Fit-for-Future hub for expert viewpoints, reports and more.

Contact us

Get in touch with Jason Carter for more information

Water Strategy and Innovation Lead

Contact Jason

Get in touch with Joanna Brunner for more information

Senior Management Consultant

Contact Joanna

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