Three Leadership Lessons to drive excellence at your nuclear power plant

Posted by Joe Klecha on October 11, 2021

People, plant, and processes are the three keys to the success of nuclear power plant operations.  

Many organizations focus primarily on systems and technology as the operating principle.  

While streamlined systems and reliable technology are important elements to excellent performance,  emphasis must start with solid leadership, a focus on development of people, and quality stream-lined process. Without this focus the best systems and technology will not yield the desired results. 

The right nuclear leadership team with an understanding of how to gain influence over their plant's operating team and drive continuous improvement through the organization is often the first step in regards to driving excellence.  

Three things nuclear leaders should prioritize:

1. The overarching vision of the nuclear plant

Creation and communication of a vision amongst the team helps them understand where and how their daily job fits into the bigger, more impactful picture. Most people want to come to work to do a great job. Including them in the “why” of your operating processes and improvement initiatives will increase their excitement for change, help them feel empowered to do their jobs better, and help propel the organization from “status quo” to excellence. 

2. Learning from others in the nuclear industry

Often times nuclear leaders are so focused on what their internal metrics are telling them, they forget to benchmark across the industry. Internal measures may be telling you you’re “good” versus a historical measure, but the question you should be asking is: “What does excellence look like these days within the industry? And how do we measure up to that?” Being a part of industry leadership groups and networking opportunities help establish a community where conversations like this happen. Additionally, partners like Cohesive that work with multiple organizations in these industries can serve as a sounding board to help you understand where your organization is, where it needs to be, and how to plan, prioritize and measure these strategic improvement initiatives.

3. People first mentality

The development, growth, performance improvement, and trust of your people always have the largest impact on how your organization will improve. You may think you’re on the right track from a strategy standpoint, but if there is a disconnect between what you see and how your employees feel collectively, there is a problem at hand. Prioritize their learning, growth and development.  

Cohesive partners with nuclear operating organizations to help guide them with the alignment of people, processes and technology – enabling them to operate more efficiently and sustainably.

About Joe Kelcha:

Joe has a long standing history working in the nuclear operations space. In hist most recent nuclear operations roles he held positions as Plant Manager, Project Director and Vice President of Operations for Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 New Nuclear project.

Topics: Nuclear Operations

Written by Joe Klecha

Joe leads our nuclear practice. He has been in the nuclear industry since the start of his career and comes with nuclear executive leadership experience.
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