If innovation is only top down or bottom up, it will fail.
That's a key philosophy around generating new ideas at Exelon. We believe innovation has to live everywhere in the organization.
Exelon employees know their jobs well and are in an ideal position to imagine new ways of working at a time of rapid change in the utility industry.
Technology is driving major transformation across the energy business. That includes Web-based analysis and functions, Big Data, the "Internet of Things," mobile, cloud, social, even drones. Said Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane: "Fostering a culture of innovation is critical to the utility industry in an era defined by the rapid integration of electronic digital devices and technology at home and in the workplace."
Exelon continues to invest in innovation and make it part of the culture.
To facilitate the generation of new ideas, Exelon formed dedicated innovation teams. One example is the Emerging Technology team, charged with identifying opportunities to improve productivity and efficiencies. The team goes beyond traditional corporate boundaries to identify and pilot new technologies, scouting for ideas both inside Exelon and externally. In this way, the Emerging Technology team can explore ideas that transform the status quo without disrupting day-to-day business operations.
In addition, Exelon is open to ideas from all employees. The Exelon Innovation Expo is an ongoing series that brings employees together with experts from different fields to explore creative solutions to complicated business problems, share ideas and see what colleagues are doing.
An organizational model that helps everyone in the company innovate.
Exelon has created not only opportunities for everyone to share ideas, but a practical framework for innovation at every level of the workforce. A common methodology helps people work together and speak the same language.
The first step is to "inspire." Projects like the Innovation Expos and others encourage employees to imagine better ways of working.
Next is "ideate." Sometimes ideation happens in brainstorming sessions. Exelon also encourages employees to socialize their ideas among peers and discuss them with their managers. A great crowdsourcing tool, the Innovation Central portal, provides another avenue for ideation. Employees can submit ideas, find a virtual innovation group to vet their ideas regardless of geography, contribute to and vote on other proposals, and let the best innovative thinking bubble up.
In the "investigate" phase, an Innovation Peer Group considers whether new ideas are viable. Finally, fully vetted ideas move into "implementation." They're handed off to the appropriate operating company for planning and execution.
At Exelon, we believe that by fostering a culture of innovation among all employees, amazing things can happen.