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Editor's note: Last week, Jan Blittersdorf was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for her work advancing new ideas that are leading the way to a clean energy future and an economy that’s built to last.

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And so it is for every functional area within a business. When times are good, it’s easy to maintain existing relationships. When times are tough, it’s easy for a business to neglect existing relationships and chase after new ones.

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How do companies continue to thrive when the current reality is shaky? By focusing on your employee base.

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When I started at NRG Systems in 1999, I was immediately struck by the global destinations for our orders. A company of 20 people in Hinesburg, Vermont was shipping products to nearly every continent and multiple countries. I started keeping a list of where we were shipping.

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There’s a lot of volatility in the wind industry at the moment. In the U.S., the production tax credit (PTC) is set to expire at the end of 2012, and there’s a general lack of federal policy to support wind energy development.

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We all understand intellectually that companies, products and methods are constantly being replaced by more effective alternatives. (Economist Joseph Schumpeter famously described this as a process of creative destruction.) But exactly how do you keep ahead of this process consistently? Designing, managing and implementing your innovation process to meet (or...

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If Kristen Graf has her way, every year from now on there will be more women working in the wind industry. Graf, executive director of the national nonprofit Women of Wind Energy (WoWE), administers the Rudd Mayer Fellowships, which since 2005 have played a key role in identifying and assisting...

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Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spoke to a group of business school students at the University of Vermont on the topic of company culture and employee relations. In preparing for this presentation, it got me thinking more deeply about how company culture evolves and who defines it within an organization.

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We enter 2012 in a flood of uncertainty:

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