Jesse Kimball: On Change


Jesse B. Kimball is founding partner at 1859 Advisors, an energy consulting and asset management firm. He was a Young Leader in 2014 and has served on the Board of the American Swiss Foundation since 2019.


Change gets a bad rap. Policy change. Regime change. Climate change. These days, it seems that most people assume change is bad.  If the common assumption is that change is bad, then one must assume that the result of that change is also bad. But that is not often the case. The energy business is full of change. Prices change. Energy sources change. Energy policy changes. Consumer energy preferences change. These are not bad things. 


As someone who works in the energy industry, I have had to become accustomed to constant change, which was not easy. Nature has given humans the ability to adapt to change. And humans have become quite good at adapting to change, using their ingenuity and human-created technology.


Change might be hard, but it is rarely all bad. I have found that change becomes easier if the focus is on the positive aspects of the end result, not the negative aspects of the difficulty of change. This shift in attitude, to focus on the positive aspects of change, puts me in the right frame of mind to adapt and flourish in an environment that is in a constant state of flux. Twenty thousand years ago, there was a 1,000 foot thick glacier sat atop New York City.  Just think about how difficult your commute would be if that hadn’t changed.