Visiting the World Trade Center Memorial

Today we take a moment to reflect on the event that changed us 13 years ago.

I visited the 9/11 Memorial.

After walking through security like I was boarding a plane, I entered the courtyard. I arrived in a group, but broke off on my own. I felt I should walk this memorial alone.world_trade_center_memorial_thumb

Two great pools of water sat in the courtyard. Water poured down one level, creating soft walls. Then it poured down a second level and into a hole, the bottom unseen.

Each pool is where the buildings belonged, those buildings now crumbled and gone.

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Topics: The Workplace

September 11, 2014

5 Tips for Making Great Energy Management Presentations

As an energy management professional, you may have to give a presentation with slides to an audience. A lot may be riding on the quality of your presentation. Perhaps you have to prove return on investment for an upcoming purchase, share the results of an energy efficiency project, or enlist coworkers for an energy conservation initiative. 488852553

Whatever your purpose is, chances are you haven’t been trained in creating great presentations. Unfortunately in most organizations, high-stakes presentations receive low-stakes preparations. But your idea is too valuable to fumble, so why not take some professional advice from presentation experts Nancy Duarte and Dan Roam.

Here are five tips for creating great presentations.

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Topics: The Workplace

August 22, 2014

Energy Management HELP WANTED

The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is hiring for a position in energy management. We thought we'd post a portion of the complete employment description. The job requires, "working knowledge of utility management software such as EnergyCAP."

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Topics: The Workplace

August 15, 2014

Creative Thinking in Business

Note: This is a guest post by Kate Forsyth of Minol USA, an EnergyCAP user.

Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Yet so much of our approach to education and work is steeped in learning the right answer or correct processes. It’s important to note that great innovators are the people who didn’t say “No” to seemingly impossible ideas. Instead, they opened their minds to the “What if” question and then worked on how to make it happen.461877619

For example, the Wright Brothers made bicycles before they created the first airplane that figuratively and literally became the runway to the future. How did two brothers go from making simple, two wheel vehicles to flying?

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Topics: The Workplace

July 29, 2014

5 Tips for Using Email Better

There’s no question that email has dramatically changed the workplace. Communication that previously required personal contacts by phone or in person can now be settled efficiently through instant correspondence. It’s hard to imagine life without it. In business, email has become a tool we simply cannot live without.

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But just because we CAN email doesn’t mean we SHOULD email. Like all tools, email should be used when it makes sense. We’ve probably all heard stories of email blunders, some simply embarrassing to the sender, but some with serious consequences, like losing a job or a friend. And we are all aware of the time burden that email imposes with its in-your-face presence!

To help you avoid email perils, here are five tips for using email better.

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Topics: The Workplace

July 17, 2014

Energy Manager Tip #3 for Achieving Buy-In

Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has been our guide for this short series on Achieving Buy-In, and this final installment specifically addresses those power relationships where you are seeking to get subordinates “on board” with a new direction.

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Carnegie makes his point with a story about fasting:

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Topics: The Workplace

July 2, 2014

Why Trials Are Good For You

Someone recently asked me what forces have helped me mature. That is, what factors were responsible for my personal growth? Although several causes came to mind eventually, my first thought surprised me—it was trials.

According to Webster’s, a trial is, “a test of the quality, value, or usefulness of something.” Usually we like to avoid trials because trials are painful. When we propose a personal or professional development plan, we don’t propose the deliberate inclusion of trials. When trials come, we want to walk the other way.78377900

But trials can be powerful forces for good in your life.

Here are five ways that trials can benefit you:

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Topics: The Workplace

June 19, 2014

Energy Manager Tip #1 for Achieving Buy-in

You devised the most brilliant energy management initiative in history. But your utillity accounting clerk was not buying it. When you pointed out the logical fallacies in his argument, he misread the tone of your email.

Before you knew it, the facilities director was copied on the correspondence, and the plans for a vital software implementation for your initiative were scrapped.

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You might have felt like President Lincoln did, in this story from Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

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Topics: The Workplace

June 17, 2014

Do Introverts or Do Extroverts Make Better Energy Managers?

I recently watched a powerful TED Talk by self-identified introvert Susan Cain. She believes that our culture rewards extroverts and ignores introverts, and consequently, our culture misses out on the benefits that introverts bring. This got me thinking about extroversion and introversion in the workplace.

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Do introverts or do extroverts make better energy managers?

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Topics: The Workplace

May 13, 2014

Top Job Qualifications for Top-Notch Energy Managers

hiringEnergyManagerEnergy Managers—Do you know what your (future) employer is looking for?

The energy management field is changing, so we thought we’d survey the current job openings to see what is expected of current applicants. Read on for some expected and unexpected results.

1: Energy efficiency expertise is still a core competency.

Just about every employer directly stated or implied in the job description that the successful candidate would demonstrate personal competence in tracking, analyzing, and reducing energy use. And for about half of the job openings, the employer required Certified Energy Manager (CEM) professional certification (or equivalent) of job applicants.

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Topics: The Workplace

April 16, 2014

My Massage With Al Pacino: 5 Steps to Worry-Free Living

alPacinoA few years ago, my family went on vacation to a resort hotel that offered massages. My wife said I should get one, so I made an appointment.

“Your massage will be with Al Pacino,” the scheduler said.

“With whom?” I asked.

“With Al Pacino.”

“That’s who I thought you said.”

My heart skipped a beat. A massage with The Godfather? This was not the vacation I had signed up for. My mind tripped into WORRY mode. What had I gotten myself into? I was on pins and needles waiting for my appointment.

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Topics: The Workplace

January 31, 2014

Mars or Bust: The Power of Prioritizing

marsI heard a fascinating segment on National Public Radio last Sunday. It started with an audio clip of Carl Sagan, which piqued my interest since I knew that Sagan had died years ago. “I don't know why you're on Mars,” the dead man intoned. “But whatever the reason for going to Mars is, I'm glad you're there and I wish I was with you.” After the recording ended, the NPR news story continued with comments from a number of people who were busily planning to make the vision of a manned Martian visit a reality.

The breadth of that vision was inspiring, and the story reminded me, just three short weeks past the unofficial deadline for New Year’s Resolutions, of the power of prioritizing. And it got me wondering how many visions we sacrifice when we choose poorly.

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Topics: The Workplace

January 21, 2014

Why Telling Stories Is Better Than Telling Facts

Which version makes a bigger impact?

  • City receives $623,000.
  • Part-time energy manager helps her near-bankrupt city to receive $623,000.

The first version tells the facts—a city received $623,000. The facts are correct, measurable…and pretty boring. But the second version tells a story.

  • There’s a challenge—the city is near-bankrupt.
  • There’s a hero—the part-time energy manager.
  • There’s a victory—the city received $623,000.
  • There’s drama—you mean she was only part-time? However did she do it?

The elements of this story create intrigue. You want to learn more.

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So to make a big impact at work, either in proposing a new project to your boss, getting buy-in from your coworkers, or influencing your audience, try telling a story rather than just telling facts.

Presenting facts can be easier than telling a story—a quick Internet search can provide endless facts—but that doesn’t mean facts are the best option.

Telling stories is better than telling facts because:

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Topics: The Workplace

January 10, 2014

5 Ways to Stop Thinking About Work At Home

How often has it happened that your spouse, partner, friend, or child was talking with you when all of a sudden, you realized you didn’t hear a word they said? You were thinking about work instead.

You left the office, but the office didn’t leave you. To help you protect your personal time, here are five ways to stop thinking about work at home:

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Topics: The Workplace

January 3, 2014

6 Ways to Save on Energy Costs at Your Small Business

In honor of Small Business Saturday, we are pleased to offer a blog post by small business owner Jake Butler. Butler enjoys discussing topics including green living, small business, and money savings.

If you're running a small business, you know how important saving money is. Some of the more tried and true methods include cutting your real estate costs, office supply expenses, and IT support. One of the less exploited means, however, is reducing your utility bill through energy management.

According to ENERGY STAR, small businesses spend over $60 billion per year on energy, so if reducing that expense is not on your agenda, it should be. Without reducing costs, your business is likely to struggle to maintain healthy and consistent profits.

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Here's how to reduce your energy expenses and improve your overall chances of success, starting today. 

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Topics: The Workplace

December 3, 2013

The One Commodity We're Always Trading

We talk a lot about commodities—oil, water, natural gas. But what about time?

Time is the one commodity we’re always trading, whether we realize it or not.

So why do we spend so much time on tedious tasks rather than projects that move us forward?

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Topics: The Workplace

November 12, 2013

How to Transition Between Tasks at Work

If you’re like me, you may often slide between job tasks instead of moving purposefully from one to the next.

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Topics: The Workplace

September 17, 2013

How to Make Your Own Fireworks (At Work)

It’s almost July 4, which means fireworks.

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Topics: The Workplace

July 3, 2013

5 Ways to Focus Your Mind and Work Smarter

Does this sound like you?

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Topics: The Workplace

April 18, 2013

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