CALIFORNIA – BURN – BABY – BURN – #91

As I prepared to write this BLOG, I was overcome with disbelief that the PGE Management group had a total disregard for responsibility, accountability, ethics, trust, and just plain common sense. Of course, we are in CALI-FORNIA where “tree-huggers” have ruled the roost for the last ten years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “IT STARTS AND ENDS WITH MANAGEMENT” is very visible at PGE, from the lowest grade supervisor to the CEO and the Board of Directors they were operating to satisfy their needs instead of taking care of their Customers who in-turn make up the total population in the STATE. The first thing that PGE should do is to get a reading on the bonuses paid to all levels of management for the last decade. While compiling the bonuses – How about the expenses for the same period of time. The following examples barely touch the thousands of Management Personnel that are putting California in a very precarious position. The fifth largest country – in the world – we can’t let that happen!

  1. 2243 forest fires of various types and sizes have taken place in California in three years 2015-2018 – that’s – not quite 1 fire a day – a figure that is unacceptable – due to simple manpower availability. This labor shortage exists today.
  2. PGE started keeping track of fires in 2014, and through 2017 they were responsible for 1550 fires. Decades of drought are blamed – climate change was easy to blame – Californians and tree huggers all over the world forget one thing (they don’t want to hear it), but climate policy is not a solution for the problems of forest management, especially the need for controlled burns to reduce the fuel build-up that leads to the catastrophic fact that California won’t be there because the underbrush doesn’t go away – it just gets worst. For the last 40 years, our new generational segments have fallen victim to reading and viewing hysterical exaggeration, doom-mongering and equating critics of climate change to Holocaust deniers. Here and now, we have a Congress who is wasting valuable time on impeachment efforts of our President!
  3. Not one person have I heard talking about the extensive drought, how fast it was overtaking heavily wooded areas, and California’s lack of solid forest management. Climate change has and will be with us for thousands of years.

Only 450M additional trees were removed above forecasts for 2016, 2017, 2018. That’s 150M trees a year more than the PGE’S annual quota, PGE can’t get the job done when removal and the need for trimming of trees is estimated at. 130 million trees. No plan, no accountability, and no management at all levels. Yet, California makes utilities responsible for fires started with their equipment. despite their no direct involvement.

  1. Was there a problem? PGE disregarded the fact that a simple solution such as maintaining the trimming and removal of all the incendiary materials from below the millions of trees was good forest management. How about turning off the power in a manner that will help lower the intensity of a fire. Greed kept simple firefighting solutions from being implemented by people who were trained how fight a fire of such size and intensity. Management was so focused on the past and the future, that the present sneaked-up on them. I will bet you any amount you desire, that  bonuses and other cash awards were paid in some amount – no matter what!!
  2. PGE needs to update many of its 125M miles of electrical lines, enough to wrap the equator 5 times. From 2013 to 2017 PGE reported that more than 16,000 sections of high voltage lines fell to the ground. That’s one high voltage line every three hours. Both trees falling and equipment failures caused the lines to drop. With more drought, we are closer to a major fire than the Camp Fire which in a few hours destroyed 13,983 homes and killed 85 people and thousands of animals.  Answers to the problems that PGE is facing answer is simple – “It Starts and Ends with Good Forest Management”. I couldn’t possibly have tried to present you with every problem that we have encountered due to a simple volume of data. However, the following fixes represent a summary list of priorities that needs to be done by PGE.

LIST OF TOTAL FIX PRIORITIES:

  1. SECTION AND DIVISION MANAGER MUST PREPARE A PLAN LISTING OF FIXES BY PRIORITYFOR THEIR OPERATIONS. (THEY CAN GO TO OUR ONE PAGE PLAN OUTLINE EXHIBITED IN BLOG #2)
  2. The plan should include:
    • 10 objectives for the Section or Division
    • Strategies specific to each objective.
    • Start & Completion dates for projects
    • Responsible and Accountable Mgrs.
    • Costs of labor, materials and equipment
    • Contingencies –Upside & Downside

Please note, in the lower operations plans -10 objectives are OK- but when you reach the top echelons, 5 will be acceptable. This will provide the focus for the final plan. All money estimates in terms of cost should be as realistic as possible and include inflation wherever possible.

  1. If Lee Iaccoca could work for a $1.00 per year in bringing Chrysler back, why couldn’t PGE’S Senior, Management as well Board of Directors do the same. He did the same with his business contacts-who in- turn explored raising funds with their suppliers and employees. Remember, Lee also raised the funds for the renovation of Statue of Liberty and the Island on which the Statue resides in New York harbor. Every employee of Chrysler who made a donation, the company offered restricted stock. Lee also had to work with the Autoworkers Union who both had a mutual respect for each other – they worked together at every opportunity.
  2. At the point where the rolled up expenses don’t have a budget to cover them, Sr. Management should head to State Capitol to plead for a long-term loan (Develop a formula for what it would cost to replace the capabilities for precinct, district and the State). Present your figures to the California Legislature in terms of prioritized expenses and then add lesser priorities, but realize the functions are real (need a fix now), and don’t appear due to PGE’S overall priorities.  The costs will be estimates based on the average of the 5 previous years which should provide actual increases over previous expenditures the managers will determine the cost of an item. They will have to be estimated, but they will be backed by relevant data.
  3. Next, The Governor & CEO of would try to see President Trump and his staff to shop for a long-term loan. The data has to be there and be realistic. Nobody in this tree-some could afford to lose CALIFORNIA the fifth largest country in the world. Provide an estimate of total dollars lost in California if we don’t fix the problem. Adopt Lee Iacoccas arguments with President Bush – Sr. – nothing short of a long-term loan for at least the next ten years.
  4. Every source of revenue should be explored and maximized. One immediate action would be to  provide as much transparency as possible regarding the solutions to problems. The steps we are addressing, defy all previous in the box rules established by management – that didn’t know what they were doing – All successes should be publicize which means that PGE should be employing the ‘Best PR’ person in the State who also is responsible for external PR. Sacramento State Capitol will have to be ready to approve things that need immediate action. The days of lengthy approval are over – those who can’t work with the never-ending changes that will take place – will have to be facing several options.
  5. Stop running equipment until it breaks. Make sure that all software is coordinated with the IT department, we don’t need rogue independent systems that can’t be shared by everyone.
  6. Install and use predictive tools to get a handle on the what, where and when. Big employee challenge – finding, recruiting and extensive training as needed.
  7. Form separate safety agency – currently the California Public Utilities Commission has to weigh conflicting Imperatives: boost spending for safety or hold the line on rates.  10. Change culture throughout PGE who from top to bottom to get everyone on the same track – where Customers are the number one people playing the need for PGE products and services. This is no easy task, and will require strong focus on accountability at all levels of management.  The insurance industry keeps insisting that the California Fires can’t be attributed to climate control alone. The Socialist Tree Hugger “It Starts and Ends With Management” these woods needed to be managed through the removal of underbrush and through controlled fires. Such tactics and animals.

MANAGEMENT LESSON:

Solve problems NOW take steps to get as many facts as possible. Delegate authority to the point that the manager won’t accept more and once-and-for-all, allow the manager to deselect themselves to their comfort level. We have an excellent program called LEVELING. If you send me an e-mail goodasgolde@gmail.com we will get a copy to YOU. I used LEVELING throughout my years in various corporate environment’s – it is a very effective tool. If PGE adds this tool to their manager’s toolboxes, you will be taking the first steps in terms of accountability, one-on-one communications, and the need to prioritize those things that require a total commitment, and the need to develop a one-page plan that has a number that reflects a roll-up for that division/section. Add up the roll-up plans and raise enough money from every one that should be ready to invest in a guaranteed MONOPOLY. Unless PGE moves quickly on the big and small ,but critical, issues. The next fire is right around the office.  President Trump could turn California into a sea of RED – Republicans by simply offering a whole Infantry Division to attack cleaning up the underbrush under 130 million trees as well as removing the trees that need to be removed instead of taking on the role of jet fuel in these fires. Controlled burns of underbrush and dead trees is the way to go.

CALIFORNIA AS WE KNOW – IT WON’BE THERE – UNLESS THE RESIDENTS OF CALIFORNIA CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING – NOW-NOW!!