Local innovation company: Ameren

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by in Stories
December 14, 2015

We are fortunate to have partners in the St. Louis region who help drive innovation and are engaged in the community on a number of levels. One such company is Ameren. We’ve worked with them to put together a theme night for the December 17th Venture Café Gathering that will focus on energy – clean, renewable, trends, etc.

As we met with various members of the Ameren team in preparation for the theme night, a few things about the company stood out. In a company as large as Ameren, innovation is happening on a daily basis. From the customer service teams focused on new ways to gather customer insights to the company’s generation plant employees identifying how they can operate plants cleaner and more efficiently, Ameren has a wide array of thinking and approaches taking place. As an industry, the utility space is experiencing shifts in customer preferences and options created by innovative technologies and business models. It is clear to me that Ameren is focused on engaging these trends and learning how to adapt in order to capitalize on the opportunities that are presented.

Innovation 2As a utility, Ameren sees its success closely connected to that of the region and the people it serves. Taking an interest in and supporting the development of an innovation community like Cortex is one way they are connected. There is this opportunity to learn from the collective experiences of their customer base and improve the products and services offered. This theme night is another step in Ameren’s move toward identifying partnership opportunities that help them think about their business differently.

For most companies there isn’t a perfect blueprint for innovation. Even with a forward-thinking company like Ameren, it appears the first step is to have a challenge future view of the core business. As I’ve gotten to know the Ameren leadership, innovation is the combination of creativity + delivery. It’s not enough to think outside the box or have a great idea (the “outside the box” concept isn’t even accurate when it comes to describing true innovation). You have to develop the means to deliver on that idea in a way that creates compelling value for your customer.

Make sure you attend the Energy Theme Night curated in partnership with Ameren on December 17, 2015. This will also be the final Venture Café Gathering of the year. We’ll see you there.



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