In literature and for some in life, one of the conflicts is Man vs. Self, which represents the epic internal battle against our weakness to make ourselves stronger. Set goals: “I am going to workout” or “I am going to rewrite this letter (repeatedly)” because we are not feckless. Mediocrity is not our state, and we will not simply tread water. In short, we chase something internally to unlock our greatest potential and state. We pursue our best, we pursue excellence.

Excellence is always one step ahead of us. We break the four-minute mile. Why stop there? Not good enough, the current record is 3:43.13, which was set in 1999 by El Guerrouj of Morocco, but I would not be surprised if within my lifetime, that record was broken. As an industry, we are making a pivotal shift from “utility expense is uncontrollable” to “we are going to reduce our consumption (and carbon) by X%.” This journey could not be timelier as rates rise out pacing CPI and dramatic, catastrophic weather event abound. Throughout all the turmoil, we stay the course; we chase our best selves. We pursue excellence.

This issue of JOUM pays homage and provides examples of our industry pursuit of excellence. The second winner of the Utility Management Advisory’s Innovation award showcases a leader in our industry, changing a physical asset for the better. Bill Melendez’s deep dive into Operational Excellence, and Carol Schmitt’s dive into our industry movement to identify Environmental Social Governance are all fantastic examples of the shifts in our industry to control our expenses and be better.

I encourage you, reader, to use this issue as a guide, an inspiration, a marker on your journey as we pursue excellence together. I simply cannot wait to see what records you break.


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