What is this "Connecting the dots" thing?

The coming of competition in traditionally regulated industries, convergence in the electronics, computer and media industries, and Smart Grid development is bringing together a number of different businesses and disciplines that historically didn't interact. Those are the "dots".

Connecting those dots (getting the right people communicating) can be a challenge. Particularly since for many of the companies involved, this is the first time they have dealt with Regulated Utilities, Utilities Regulators or the often contentious issues that surround them.

Note that I didn't say "getting the right people in the same room" or "getting the right people talking", I said "getting the right people communicating," which can be a whole new problem. Different disciplines don't use the same terminology, or even if they do use the same words, they often use them differently, which can be even worse. On top of those issues, you often have passionate advocates, somtimes opposing change, sometimes promoting a different kind of change.

So why would you want my help?

Well, that's really the question at hand isn't it? If you're looking at this website, there's a good chance that a business card passed from one palm to another, a vcard arrived through the ether, or maybe you ran across it while poking around in a search engine. In any case, you may be thinking that you might want my help, or maybe you're just curious. Either way, here are some possibilities to think about:


It takes time and dedication of some employee resources to get up to speed on the various activities that are involved. I've already expended those resources, so it may be faster, better and less expensive to use my resources (i.e. experience) than to generate them yourself.


Sooner or later, you will be dealing with regulators and regulation. I've spent 28 years on a regulatory agency staff, with one of the prominent state regulatory agencies in Smart Grid. I was a regulator, and I know how a regulator views the world. I know what arguments make a case, and what arguments don't.

Making Communication Happen

My degree is in Mass Media and Organizational Communciation, and I've spent a lifetime studying how people communicate, why they often fail, and how to help people communicate better. I am a trained and experienced Mediator, which is an art and science all its own. I have a proven track record in getting former combatants to collaborate on developing resolutions that everyone can live with.

What Others are saying...

“... productive, insightful, clear-thinking and articulate ... He thinks strategically, comprehending the "big picture" with ease, and combines that facility with the ability to develop and to implement the technical processes and protocols of business systems.” Kerry Stroup, formerly Director, Utilities, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

“... posesses a deep understanding of the economics, regulatory environments, political dynamics, and ecological issues that affect the energy market...Chris uses his knowledge and his unique perspective to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. Lee Goldberg, Sr. Section Editor & Partner, EN-Genius (Formerly analogZONE)

“Chris is committed to the efficient and safe operations of energy markets. He served on the Executive Committee of NAESB and was a voice of reason for standards development that would introduce more effective deployments of demand response, demand side management, energy efficiency and smart grid applications. His knowledge base combined with his ability to work effectively for industry consensus made him an invaluable team player.” Rae McQuade, President, North American Energy Standards Board

“I had the opportunity to work with Chris as part of initiatives at the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel's work on Home Area Network standards. Chris was a fair arbiter in the process, and helped drive consensus recommendations with a wide variety of interests and stakeholders. I appreciated Chris' focus on constructive outcomes that gained ground for all parties involved.” Tobin Richardson, Director, Smart Energy, ZigBee Alliance

So, is it just you?

Yes and no, depending on the project. Some projects I handle myself. But if your needs are more complicated, I'm also co-founder of Think Smart Grid. Think Smart Grid is a "boutique" consultancy, bringing expertise in various areas to focus on Smart Grid development and markets. Our team has background in areas as diverse as Physics and fluid dynamics, IT, HVAC, Consumer Electronics, Human Factors, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Regulation and Public Policy, just to name a few.

In short, I don't leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I know folks with some serious catapults.

 Christopher Kotting - Connecting the dots...

Where & When

(Where am I this week?)

1/6-9/15 - Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, NV

1/26-28/15 - AHR Expo, Chicago, IL

2/3-5/15 - Distributech, San Diego, CA