Open sparring and learning from other’s mistakes give Finnish companies a competitive edge in this global and rapidly developing field. However, this requires mutual trust.
The benefits of collaboration are indisputable. Networks improve access to information by providing a larger group of contacts to supplement personal observations. Having many conversation partners reduces the likelihood of remaining isolated in a bubble, a situation that increases the risk of making narrow-minded choices. The more perspectives gained for decision-making, the better the overall outcome – even when compromises may be required.
Dividing work between different parties allows people and companies to specialise in areas where they have the best expertise and greatest passion. No one should or can do everything, because it takes time and resources to build competence. Economies of scale and specialisation are effective on the individual as well as the company level. On the other hand, it’s possible to learn new operating models from different people and organisations and then select the best to use as such or in applied format.
There are also challenges related to partnerships and collaboration, and this creates the possibility of tensions, or even conflicts. Conflicts are caused by the collision of different viewpoints, and finding a solution suitable for all parties can be time-consuming. The capital needed to resolve these challenges is the desire to develop things together. People have to be ready to adapt their own operating methods and expand on concepts in order to ensure mutual understanding. The greatest barrier to building trust may be personal preconceptions.
The energy industry has to consider collaboration and partnerships in a new way now that it’s facing an unprecedented transformation. Prevention of climate change in many different sectors, the rapid development of technology, and greater integration of markets and market areas are expanding the playing field and changing the rules. Without the necessary know-how or desire to seek fresh approaches, these inevitable changes will be perceived as a threat. In fact, this is actually a great opportunity to find solutions to questions facing the entire world.
Will Finns be among the winners in the energy transformation? That depends on our attitude towards others, because conquering the world is a team sport. In addition to familiar partners, we should look farther – we’re surrounded by a lot of people who have the ideas and the expertise needed to change society. Although it takes time to build relationships, there are very few options in this globalising competition.
What kind of player community do we want to build in the energy industry?
Heidi Uimonen is an Electricity Market Specialist who wants to look at things from a second or even third angle. Heidi also leads the Fingrid Young Professionals association. Read more about FYP.