Research shows Friday most productive day of the week

Really?  You know that’s not true!  We all know and at least some lame research on my part shows that better research by real researchers says that Friday SUCKS for productivity.  So, make Friday your day to do what many of you think is screwing off already.  That is, make Friday your social media day.  Past noon on Friday (and I bet past noon on Friday is absolutely abysmal for “productivity”), do nothing but tweet, blog, friend and follow.

This is really for everyone who says they don’t have “time” for social media”.  This is it, this is your Hall Pass.  Go for it.  Get in the game.  For those of us finding Friday a challenge (seasonality should be explored here to be sure), do us a favor.  Join us!  #FF indeed or is it really #FFF?

Happy Friday

-Steve

 

Blog Series: Making a “Switch” at EnergyLogic

I’m very enamored of the work the Heath brothers; Chip and Dan.  They’re the authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Thrive and Others Die and Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.

I recently finished Switch and read Made to Stick several years ago.  Both are excellent works that I highly recommend.  They both will give you highly actionable items to take away for your business and your life.  I also got to see Dan speak at the GrowCo conference in Las Vegas recently and he was great to hear in person as well.

I’ve been thinking about how to work with the book here at EnergyLogic.  I introduced it to our management team and guided them to free online resources at the website http://www.heathbrothers.com/resources/download/#switch.  You’ll find a really nice set of free resources there for making use of the ideas in both books.    For Switch, there is a one page PDF summarizing the big ideas.  There is also a series of workbooks for business, life, etc.  I’ll say this a few times to ensure I get my point across: BUY THE BOOK.  Not just because it’s a really good book, but because supporting authors is now and will remain – the right thing to do.

I’ve decided to work my way through each of the major points for the book, one week at a time, dealing with a “real world” issue or question here at EnergyLogic, let’s get cozy with our underbelly, let’s air out the closet a bit.  There are a total of nine points under three major themes:

 

Direct the Rider

Follow the Bright Spots

Script the Critical Moves

Point to the Destination

 

Motivate the Elephant

Find the Feeling

Shrink the Change

Grow Your People

 

Shape the Path

Tweak the Environment

Build Habits

Rally the Herd

 

Though I’ve already mentioned that you should BUY THE BOOK, there are a series of podcasts in the Resource section as well.  I’ve not listened to them yet, but I likely will as I work my way through this.  I’ll let you know.

 

I’ve decided to bring our entire company into this discussion and work to engage everyone at thinking about what makes EnergyLogic tick and what we can do better.  If you don’t think you or your organization can do better, I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time.  If however, there’s room for improvement, follow us along for the next ten weeks as we explore the landscape of a Switch here at EnergyLogic.  I promise to do my best to be very transparent and honest about what comes out of this.  I’m proud of who we are and what we’ve achieved, but I know we can do even better.  It’s something we owe not only our clients and customers, but ourselves.

The Switch that I envision us making here is to explore what it would take to go from being Good to Great (to use the title of another seminal business book).

To make this a lot more fun, I’m inviting you to join us on this adventure!  Ask questions, whether about EnergyLogic, about your company, about your Switch.  I’ll be putting up some poll questions as they develop.  I’m excited and I hope you can join us!

-Steve

PS BUY THE BOOK  (and no, I don’t get anything for you doing so…!)

The Write Thing = The Right Thing

Very short missive this time.  I’ve been consciously working to get LinkedIn recommendations for those that I really know and value in my connections bucket.

An odd thing happened as I was writing.  If the touchy, feely freaks you out in any way, stop here…

In many cases, the folks that I’m recommending are in competitive or at least co-opetition relationships with me and EnergyLogic.  However, the very ACT of writing recommendations for these people resulted in my thinking positive increased positive thoughts about them.

In other words, there are a bunch of people that I have deep and genuine respect for.  It doesn’t mean that I always agree with them, but we are all generally working toward the same goals and objectives.  I value that tremendously.  It is one of the best things about this industry.

Who knew, saying positive things about people makes you feel even more positive about them.

Thanks to all who are on this path (even if I haven’t recommended you… yet).

-Steve

EnergyLogic Energy Star Stats for 2010

Our records indicate that your company rated a total of:

3,748

ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in 2010*

This is equivalent to:

  • Eliminating the emissions from 1,836.52 vehicles
  • Saving 11,109,072 lbs of coal
  • Planting 3,035.88 acres of trees
  • Saving homeowners $1,675,356 on their utility bills

Based on EIA numbers –

Complete combustion of 1 short ton (2,000 pounds) of this coal will generate about 5,720 pounds (2.86 short tons) of carbon dioxide.

Thus, we helped save 15,886 tons of CO2.

Sweet!

My CEO Report Card

When I was in school at the Air Force Academy, these grades would have made me a very happy fellow.  It’s not that I was a bad student, it was mostly that it took me a while to figure out how to be a good one.  It’s a bit analogous to the place I am in life now.  I’m now seriously engaged in the business of becoming the best CEO and leader that I can be.

Which brings me back to my grades:

 

 

 

 

Not bad.  All in all.  But not good enough.  The response rate is about two-thirds, which should be enough to presume that I’ve got a reasonable picture of what people think.  I don’t really expect that I’ll ever get to all A+, but I’d like to move those B’s up!  I’ll have these for future reference, and future evaluations, I can query about progress in particular.

More interesting in most ways, are the questions that I asked along with this and the request for comment as well.  First, the questions, the comments relate back and will shine a bit of a light on the question rankings.

  1. Company guidance. How am I doing in navigating the company?

The average score, with 10 being great, was 8.08  Fourteen staff, rated this an 8, so again, not bad, but room for improvement.  These are difficult times to manage and navigate any company to be sure.  However, I’m not sure if there is ever actually an easy time to navigate a fast growing company in particular.  It’s awfully easy to get distracted by shiny things!

  1. Company culture. How are we doing in maintaining or developing the company culture that we want?

The scores here are a bit lower.  The average was 7.62, but at least three people put it right in the middle, indicating that at least some folks feel we are in danger of losing some vital part of who we are.  In some regard, this isn’t really a question about me directly, but ultimately, everything comes back to my role as leader, so I take it all seriously.  I do feel like company culture is everyone’s job, which begs the question of how empowered folks are to have an impact on culture.  For now, mostly questions and not answers.

Finally, I asked a pretty personal question:

  1. Daily interactions. How am I to work with?

I wanted to get some feedback about the level of comfort that people feel with me on a daily basis and whether I remain approachable and just as I would want to know for any team member, can I get things done with others.  I scored a pretty respectable 8.76 and eleven staff maxed me out on this one.  I’m not planning on resting on laurels, but good to know that most people feel good about working with me.

Comments were decidedly the most interesting part, illuminating many of the question responses.  The biggest areas of interest were a desire for even more communication about what’s going on in the company.  We’ve been working to improve this recently, with an intercompany webpage where all manner of things get posted, but we can probably never do too much with this and I realize that I’ve been doing less to elaborate on initiatives and projects than I could be doing.  Note to self…

Also, over the course of the past few years, I’ve spent less and less time with the field staff of the company.  We do a lot of things now and it’s become easy to become too distant from the field.  While it may be benign neglect, it’s still neglect.

The other big area is related to the one above.  I need to spread myself out a bit more.  I do make it a practice to walk around the office every day and check in with everyone who is here and I spend a good bit of time at our training center as well.  We have a pretty spread out staff, with three offices, two where I can easily see everyone often and one in Denver where it’s more of a challenge. Folks would like to see more of me and I’d like to see more of them.  I need to figure out the best and most effective way to achieve that.  This geographic separation of the offices and staff was another big concern for many people.  It’s primarily related to culture.  Sure open to suggestions from all my readers about how to conquer this problem!

It’s a lot to think about and work on and I’m glad to hear all the input.  In most cases, the results validated what I was thinking.  Some things were not really on my radar screen yet are completely valid and should be addressed.  The reality is that I’m probably  harder on myself than any of what this survey would indicate.  I’m truly proud of our staff and our company and everything that we’ve achieved together.  But, there’s always room for improvement and I’ll be doing my best to work on these and other issues that I know will make me better in the future.

Finally, it appears that I pick my nose too much and shouldn’t put my feet up when I’m wearing flip-flops (my primary shoe of choice).  I can probably fix both those without too much trouble (at least the flip-flop issue).