As 2010 ends and a new year begins, most organizations (and individuals) are focused on their goals for 2011. At my company, we’ve finished our strategic and department planning and employees are tuned in to our direction for 2011.
I believe it was Winston Churchill who, when complimented on one of his witty, apparently spontaneous ripostes, said that people would be surprised by how much time it took to prepare his comments. I can relate. In my world control is the goal. We financial people use historical information to forecast what we believe is going to happen over the short, medium, and long term. We do not like surprises and, often to our children's annoyance, avoid unplanned action. Whilst this controlled environment has its advantages, it can hamper creativity — and creativity is what leads to new products, which leads to growth and profitability.
A recent trip to Beijing for the China Wind Power 2010 conference offered me the rare opportunity to reflect back on the future of the wind energy industry. You may have had that sensation of deja vu, the sudden realization you have seen a specific scene before, but the strength of the sensation on this trip was rare for me, and humbling.
When the idea of doing a company blog was initially raised, I remember my immediate reaction, “How am I going to make time for this?” Time I now realize that just about a year ago I stood in front of a Women of Wind Energy group in San Francisco telling them the importance of talking and writing about what you do. Let me set the scene…
I guess I don’t really get it. Nimby, or nimbyism that is. I mean I get that the pristine mountain ridge, the amber waves of grain and the wine dark sea are most lovely when unadulterated -- no houses, factories, power lines or wind turbines. What I don’t get is that the visual price of wind turbines on the top of our ridge, across the expanse of our prairie or on the horizon of our sea is seen as greater than the price of their West Virginian ridges with their tops removed for coal production or those rolling lawns dotted with white crosses from defending access to oil reserves or their beaches fouled and their seas slick with oil spilled from depths.
Growing up, Christmas was marked by stockings stuffed with presents that mysteriously appeared at the end of my bed on Christmas morning. As I grew older I resisted the logic (spoiler alert) that led me to the conclusion there really was no Santa Claus — but to acknowledge this would result in the retirement of that stocking full of treats. In the end it was necessary to recognize this reality or seriously undermine other ideas I espoused as a worldly young man.