Learning a Way Into the Future

Case Stories are coded for quick reading

Blue: What Wasn’t Working
Black: Systemic Method
Red: Outcome

Pacific Power (PP) was a major corporation in the electricity generation and distribution industry when the industry was first subjected to calls to promote change to less polluting generation. PP was at the forefront in Australia with research and initiative in alternative sustainable energy generation technologies.

Pioneering the first WindFarm at Crookwell, it broke new ground in the industry and faced many technical, regulatory, community relations, industrial relations and consumer issues. Pacific Power’s leadership acknowledged that they would have to “Learn their way” through the establishment of the WindFarm.

The Centre for Systemic Development at the University of Western Sydney, which is under the leadership of Bruce McKenzie (of Future Insight Maps), partnered with Pacific Power staff to assemble the Learning Narrative Journals. In the Journals each staff member recorded three aspects of their work experience:

  • What were the challenges from the external environment;
  • How did the system (work plan) respond and manage the environment situation;
  • What did they learn from the interplay between the system and the environment?

At regular intervals the staff shared their journals with one another and discussed the insights and lessons that they had identified. Each learning was considered by the whole group, as they strove to ascertain which ones were relevant only to the individual and which had significance for the project as a whole…and more importantly, similar future projects.

Pacific Power’s Senior Management Team acknowledged that the experiential learning gathered in the journals refined and initiated new practices and policies for the WindFarm programs. Further, they noted that the learning narrative was the most rapid method of achieving both effectiveness and efficiency in project management and future project planning.