Identifying options with legs - Strategic Conversations and using a Proforma

As further detail is developed, each of the ideas to drive to 100% Renewable Electricity will be have their own section, and hopefully many of them will move to ongoing programs and projects.

"the Roadmap project is about developing realistic options to reach the 100% Renewable Electricity goal - for Council, State Government, Business, Community Groups & residents"
"the Roadmap is currently at the exploratory stage.  Once options gain wide support, they can be promoted as the Roadmap moves to a selling stage"

Our goal is to develop realistic options to reach 100% Renewable Electricity - for potential implementation by Council, State Government, Business, Community Groups & residents.

We are currently at the exploratory stage.  We have identified a range of possible options. 

Now we need to look at these options more closely and decide which ‘have legs’ and which can be ruled out - on the basis for example that the cost and risk is clearly too high, or the impact on RE uptake is too uncertain, or we cannot identify an organisation which might agree to implement the initiative.

Once we have produced a list of realistic possibilities - options ‘with legs’ - we can conduct public consultations to test the extent of likely support in the community.

This will allow us to arrive at a set of realistic options for discussion with organisations which might choose to take on the implementation role.

Next step: Identifying options ‘with legs’ - suggestion for a proforma

Suggestion: Strategic Conversation about Options

So we don't go straight to technologies solutions, it is suggested that we conduct some strategic conversations about the various options.

This article explains in simple terms what the elements of a strategic conversation are.

A: Where are we now? - explore the situation

A conversation needs to begin with a thorough exploration of the area, structure, system or process under review. This part of the conversation involves reflection on past experience, discovery of new insights about what is really going on, as well as identifying specific problems that need to be addressed.

B: Where do we want to be? - create aspiration

Understanding the present helps us recognise the challenges we face, but does not create momentum for change. This is why the “B” space is so important. The group needs to shift gear into a different mental space, one of imagination and aspiration. We cannot generate any enthusiasm for change without a vision of how the future could be different, or a dream of what we would like to see in place. The tension between the present (“A”) and the future (“B”) creates the momentum for change and engages the desires of the individual members of the group.

C: How do we get there? - determine strategies

Knowing where we want to get to is a great step forward, but the conversation will ultimately remain fruitless unless we conceive some clearly-defined strategies for how to get there. This involves both invention (conceiving what we could do) and judgment (working out which options have the highest priority or would create the most leverage). This stage of decision-making and direction-setting is vital to crest the wave and build the downstream momentum.

D: What steps do we need to take? - determine action plans

Only at the end of the process do we start working on an action plan, by defining what needs to happen next to put our strategies in place, what the timeframes should be, who we will need to engage and what resources we will need.


Suggestion for ProForma

On the journey to 100% Renewable Electricity for Noosa, we are currently at the exploratory stage in developing options about how we will reach it.

Here are some suggestions for aspects of options that should be addressed in order to get better clarity, and to assist is assessing the relative merits of options in contributing towards the goal.

  • Name / title of option
  • Description
    • no more than 1/2 page
    • what does this option do?
  • Impact
    • why is this worth considering?
    • what are the benefits
      • impact on renewable electricity, ie impact on current approx 300GWh of Fossil Fuel generated electricity
      • economic - can a $$$ benefit be attributed?
      • social
  • Responsibility
    • who might implement this option?
  • Resources / Cost
    • very rough - order of magnitude
    • who bears the cost?
  • Relationship to existing programs
    • Need to show that this option does not duplicate any existing program
    • Useful to indicate any complementarity with existing programs.
  • Risks
  • Further Research Required
    • for example, Environmental Upgrade Agreements sound like a great idea, but further research is required to determine if this is possible with current legislation

Expression of possible options using this proforma approach would allow a "traffic light" gating process to classify options as Yes, No or Maybe for the next stage of ‘selling’ to potential implementation organisations.

Perfect preparation for Grant Applications

Grant application opportunities come up often, and following Murphy's Law, most frequently when the band of volunteers are already stretched.

Transforming ideas and options into defined programs and projects means we can be agile and response quickly to funding opportunities.

An extension to the Proforma described above could include common information required for grant submissions.  This will be the subject of another article.

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