SNICE way of dealing with the DOE in Obama’s 2nd Term

By Zachary Alexander on

A lot of very serious people want to see the Department of Energy allocate more resources  to commercialization in a second Obama Administration. You can hear the wheels turning and sausage being made when you read a pro-solar article like the one on On the other hand, those tasked with supporting sustainability would be well advised to concentrate on developing regional strategic networks.

In fact, hosting regional strategic networks matters more to the economic wellbeing of most American’s than anything that’s going on at the DOE. This is not to say that the DOE is not an important source of research and development. What this means is that a government organization as large as the DOE will find it difficult to keep up with techno economic changes underway in the post-Globalization marketplace.

Strategic networks are like planned entrepreneurial ecosystems that can serve as a business community’s innovation infrastructure. Most organizations are not configured to deal with either strategic uncertainty or rapid techno economic change. They are built to wring cost out of their current business models over time. This means that the middle managers who are left have been captured by the dinosaur mindset.

The only way to short circuit this slow growth thinking is to nurture the kind of direct path to senior management that strategic networks provide. Unfortunately for those tasked with supporting sustainability, strategic networks don’t come without a price. They require both time and effort to development the trust and the peering relationships that define how the businesses will work together.

According to the article, the problem is that the DOE is going through growing pains because its recent success. However, you and your peers may want to look at the post-Globalization marketplace and the arrival of peak oil as the major source of strategic uncertainty. And there is nothing that the scientists at the DOE can do alone that will halt the techno economic changes that are underway.

Zachary Alexander