Leadership development for senior executives, including
talent and leadership development plans that connect
individual employee performance to strategies.
Development of best practice governance models,
organizational controls, policies and procedures.
Community engagement strategies for utility leaders
to promote the value of water in the community served.
Leadership Development and Executive Coaching
Development of utility specific leadership programs to achieve
the utility mission and deployment of strategies. Tools
include Succession Planning (SP), Talent Resource Planning
(TRP), Individual Development Plans (IDP), managing
generational differences, executive coaching, mentoring,
community engagement strategies, speakers bureaus, utility
ambassadors, community education programs, and continuing
Governance, Policy Development and Audit Controls
Utility governance, policy development and controls are
critical for organizational success and sustainable
performance. Developing best practices in utility governance,
audit controls, policy and procedure templates, ethics,
transparency, records management to assure the highest level
Community Engagement Strategies
Successful utilities are engaged with their customers and
constituent groups or stakeholders. Identification of key
constituents is critical. Open, transparent communication is
critical. Tools include: relationship mapping, audience response
technology, surveys, facilitated sessions and focus groups.
Development of strategic plans for small, medium and large
utilities, including vision, mission, values, stakeholder
identification, SWOT analysis, strategic objectives and measures.
Integration of strategic initiatives into business plans and
employee performance plans. Develop strategic communication and
branding programs for key stakeholders.
Strategic Planning and Strategy Development
Development of strategic plans for small, medium and large
utilities and not-for-profit organizations, including: vision,
mission, values, stakeholder identification, SWOT analysis,
strategic objectives and measures. Strategic plans are linked
to operating plans and to employee performance plans. Employee
performance programs including competency development, goal
setting and development plans. Stakeholder engagement models
connect internal and external constituencies to the mission
and vision of the organization.
Strategic Communications and Brand Development
Internal and external communications are critical for
organizational success. Prepare relationship charts and
effective communication models to enhance service and
performance levels. Development of organizational
effectiveness and customer satisfaction surveys (internal
and external) including performance metrics to identify key
priority areas for improvement. Stakeholder engagement,
including facilitation services and techniques to gain
consensus with competing interests and agendas. Planning
strategies and tools for social media, newsletters, press
releases, health advisories, advertising, branding, and
Utility performance tools, including benchmarking, Effective
Utility Management (EUM), development of SMART goals and monthly
operating reports. Development of rewards an recognition programs.
Development of facility master plans and capital improvement
programs. Evaluation of new lines of business and new technology
to enhance revenue and reduce costs.
Performance Metrics and Benchmarking
High performing utilities continually observe, evaluate,
measure, compare, communicate, reward and improve. Services
include development and deployment of quality tools for
corporate performance, operational performance and employee
performance, including: QualServe, Effective Utility Management
(EUM), Statistical Process Control, benchmarking, team building,
action plans, employee engagement and empowerment,
communications and employee recognition and rewards, including
gain share programs.
Aging infrastructure and investing in infrastructure to meet
regulatory compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and
Clean Water Act is a major challenge for water and wastewater
utilities. Many of our large cities have infrastructure well
over 150 years of age. Replacement and rehabilitation strategies
include inventory assessment, condition assessment, performance
assessment, service level assessment, life cycle analysis,
financial planning, design, and construction management.
Utilities are facing increased pressure to control rate
increases. Aging infrastructure and regulations have driven
annual rate increases of 2-5X the rate of inflation.
Progressive utilities have evaluated their current revenue
sources and billing practices to make sure revenue is
maximized. Billing systems become outdated, meters age and
under measure, customer classifications change, policies change,
and revenue coding contains errors. A comprehensive review of
metering and billing practices can generate and additional 2 to
10 percent increase in annual revenue.
New Lines of Business
Traditionally, water and wastewater utilities are conservative
and their core business provides 98% of revenue. Utilities are
examining their core competencies and expanding into water
related businesses to increase revenue or reduce costs.
Opportunities include new revenue from contract operations
(public and private); leasing property and assets; providing
service line warranty programs to customers; providing billing
services; and providing water related services (laboratory,
analysis, cross connection, fire service, etc.). These services
generate new revenue reduces the need to increase rates.
Water Technology Development
Water technology is rapidly developing to meet industry demand.
The traditional model involves large investments by manufacturers
to develop, test, deploy and market new technology, processes
and products. New models are emerging where utilities provide
input to technology development and in some cases develop their
own technology. Emerging models include the ISLE Technology
Approval Group and WERF’s LIFT program. Both aim to reduce the
cycle time for deployment of new technology by the private
sector. Utilities provide test beds for development and
testing of new technology before full scale deployment.
Opportunities in the water sector include green infrastructure
for storm water management, water and sewer rehabilitation,
water testing and analysis.