Meet Laura Welty, Organizational Change Manager at San Diego Gas & Electric. Learn how her career has evolved and how she predicts the need for change management will explode in utilities.
Laura Welty is the Organizational Change Management Lead for SDG&E’s CIS Replacement. When she’s not at work, you’ll find Laura traveling, running outdoors, and enjoying a glass of wine. Laura will share her change management experiences at The 9th Change Management for Utilities Conference, September 23-24, 2019 in San Diego.
Q: Name, Title, Company
A: Laura Welty, Organizational Change Management Lead, San Diego Gas & Electric
Q: Family, Hometown, Were You Live
Husband Patrick and 3 year old son Roman, from Park City, Utah now living in San Diego, California
Q: Utility/Leadership Experience
I have been in a variety of roles at SDG&E working with internal and external stakeholders. I began my career supporting external stakeholder engagement for the Smart Meter Program during the meter deployment effort. From there I worked on internal change management for the Smart Meter Program helping business units understand changes as a result of network upgrades. I returned to externally facing roles in our Customer Outreach group educating customers about time-of-use pricing and other energy saving solutions. I became a supervisor of the residential and business outreach teams. Now I’m back working with internal stakeholders on the CIS replacement program, Envision, where I lead the change management team.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: I love to travel. I also love being active. Favorites include yoga and running outdoors, especially in new cities I’m visiting. Anywhere I can be outdoors watching my son play, with a glass of wine in my hand is a happy place for me.
Q: Notable achievements
A: I have a Master’s in Public Administration from San Diego State University. I have been recognized by leadership as someone who “Moves the Needle”.
Q: Where do you see ‘Change Management in Utilities’ in two-to-five years?
A: Our industry has changed more in the last 20 years than the previous 100 and that pace does not seem to be slowing. I see change management in the utility space exploding in the next few years. With technology, regulation and customer expectations changing so quickly, utilities are being forced to dramatically change the way they operate and organize. The only way to survive is to jump on board and embrace change as a way of doing business. Utilities are in a unique position where they can share and leverage successes and lessons learned more openly and freely that other industries. The more we can work together the better the industry as a whole will be for customers.
Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why?)
A: Michele Obama…because she is Michelle Obama. She keeps it real and gets things done, inspiring others along the way.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (author of Hamilton the Musical) for his ability to captivate and engage people through my favorite form of artistic expression, the musical. His work inspires me daily.
Q: What is one of your biggest goals?
A: I’m not someone who sets specific goals because to me life is not about the destination but the journey. For me, goals are more about living my life in a way that make me proud of the person I am. Today it’s about “being here now”. In a world that is moving so rapidly and demanding our attention in so many areas, I strive to be an active participant in the moment and immerse myself in the experience at hand. Tangible goals: stay active, healthy and traveling my whole life.
Q: What’s the biggest misconception you run into in your role (or what people seem to think about Change Management)?
A: That change management is “fluffy”, not grounded in data, which is really not true. Change is something that can be measured pretty scientifically. Also that it is a “nice to do”. Change management is a “have to do”. Without a discipled change management efforts big projects cannot be effective. People have to be prioritized.