Our Culture: The Ultimate Strategy
SPP’s approach to business is not to do the same thing our peers do cheaper, faster and bigger. Instead, we focus on creating and maintaining a unique culture in which our staff and stakeholders can collaborate to be as effective and efficient as possible. We trust that if we do so, world-class results will follow.
Case in point: In 2014, Southwest Power Pool was named Best Place to work in Arkansas by Arkansas Business. The same year, we launched our Integrated Marketplace – arguably the biggest and most impactful single effort in our organization’s history – and we did so on time and under budget.
Recent successes aren’t the result of a fluke, either. They’re the latest in a long, lasting legacy of success. Our annual Stakeholder Satisfaction Surveys regularly return superbly favorable results among our members and other customers, and our employee engagement surveys consistently show phenomenal levels of satisfaction, motivation and effectiveness among our staff.
Behind all that success? Our culture.
We hire career employees, and invest in them as people first and employees second. We give back to our community. We value transparency in our actions and communication, flexibility in our approach to customer service and response to industry trends, and integrity and trust in everything we do. We consider ourselves stewards of our members’ valuable resources and partners with our stakeholders - a diverse group that includes our member companies and the end users they serve - and local, state and federal regulators.
The SPP Difference: Our Value Proposition
SPP is a steward of our stakeholders’ resources, and endeavors to add value wherever we can.
We believe our value derives from a five-faceted proposition that is central to our strategy:
SPP did not incorporate as a legal entity until 1994. From its inception in 1941 until then, it existed solely on the strength of the relationships it established and worked diligently to maintain with and among its members and other stakeholders. Still today, our organization continues to grow and provide world-class service to its members not through contracts, but through relationships.
Our mission is helping our members work together to keep the lights on, today and in the future. We accomplish that mission by working with our members, not doing things for them and certainly not to them. SPP’s staff act as advisers to our membership, ensuring that every decision made is well-informed, then proudly support our collective membership in the pursuit of the goals they set.
Independence through diversity
We value the diverse perspectives of our members, who come from many different sectors of the electric utility industry and bring with them as many distinct interests, opinions and needs. We ensure every one of them has a seat at the table and an opportunity to make their voice heard.
Evolutionary, not revolutionary
We work as facilitators to bring our full membership to consensus, taking time to do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way every time. No two are good enough.
Reliability and economics are inseparable
Reliability is job one for us: above all else we work to ensure the reliable supply of electricity to our region. But we cannot address matters of reliability without also considering the economic impact of our actions.
SPP is a member-driven, relationship-based organization. We have in place a rigorous and transparent stakeholder process by which policy decisions are developed, informed, vetted and approved by diverse groups of stakeholders working together on behalf of everyone in our region. Hundreds of individuals representing our 95 member companies and other organizations serve on dozens of committees, working groups and task forces (“org groups”, collectively) where decisions are made that fuel the continued evolution of SPP.
Nearly all of SPP’s org group meetings are open to the public, with rare exceptions made for meetings in which confidential matters of a legal, financial or HR-related nature are discussed. (Notices are made in advance of such closed meetings to alert interested parties of their occurrence.) To register for any SPP meeting, simply create an SPP.org account, select a meeting from the SPP.org Calendar, and click the Register Now button to indicate your attendance type. Depending on the type of meeting – in-person, teleconference, or WebEx – the appropriate details such as location, hotel accommodations, dial-in information, etc. will be emailed to you within minutes of registration.
To ensure the integrity and organization of our meetings, chairpersons and staff secretaries conduct them according to Robert’s Rules of Order. All attendees are welcome to listen and may participate in discussions by asking questions and providing comments as long as they follow standard procedures and do not obstruct the meeting’s published agenda.
For more general questions, concerns and recommendations, SPP also encourages the use of its Request Management System (RMS). The SPP RMS is a web-based application through which anyone may submit a form that will be reviewed by our Customer Relations department and assigned to the appropriate resource in our organization. All RMS submissions are tracked to ensure they’re answered in a timely fashion, and questions and answers are confidential - no one outside SPP will see submissions other than the individual who sent it. The RMS can be used to initiate any number of inquiries, from asking for help logging into an SPP system to recommending changes to our governing documents.