ONE ENERGY FEED
Our Wind for Industry projects produce electricity, but can generate something even more powerful in the process – curiosity.
At One Energy, we understand the importance of giving not good, but GREAT tours of our headquarters (just read CEO Jereme Kent’s piece about their effect to see why). Educating on wind energy via hands-on excursions through the North Findlay Wind Campus is one way we do so.
We host a wide range of visitors – from STEM teachers, to local organizations, to the kid who just thinks wind turbines are cool. Our goal is to give visitors an experience they’ll never forget – and spark curiosity for future generations.
As lifelong learners, we know the best way to learn something is to experience it yourself and to ask lots of questions. That’s why our tours provide a unique look (and feel!) into One Energy, aiming to be as informative as possible. Everyone has a chance to get up close and personal with our turbines!
Take a Virtual Tour of a Wind Farm here!
Lukas Nelson began climbing wind turbines when he was 18 and just starting out in the wind industry. Now, as the Field Fleet Manager for One Energy’s Wind for Industry projects, not only is he climbing turbines – he’s prolonging their lifespans.
In today’s Climb to the Top, Lukas tells his story – from watching his father put up a utility-scale wind project, to working for turbine manufacturers, to joining the One Energy team!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the climb!
Big thanks to Ohio Energy Project and the group of junior high/high school teachers they brought to the North Findlay Wind Campus!
The visit consisted of touring the wind turbine component yard and the office building, engaging with a panel of One Energy employees discussing careers in wind energy, and using our conference room for a professional development session.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to host these educators and help build their energy lesson plans!
I have watched it time and time again. Bosses and managers putting up toxic barriers to employees making mistakes.
It happens in many forms. There are the non-delegators: managers that don’t hand off or delegate tasks for fear of an employee messing up the project. There are the hot heads: managers that tear apart employees because the employee made a mistake or didn’t do something in the way the manager would. There are the gossipers: “Did you hear Susie did this? What a dumb mistake.” And there are the punishers: those who make it clear that mistakes will bring the risk of demotion, firing, or lack of a promotion.
I get it. Mistakes can cause all sorts of trouble. On the small end they can break things, cause the company to lose time, or cause rework. On the big end, they can be catastrophic, and depending on the industry, even a matter of life and death.
No one wants to make mistakes, and no one wants others to make mistakes.
The conundrum is that people learn the most significant lessons of their lives through making mistakes. Whether you are learning a new task, building something new, or making a decision you have never been empowered to make, you often make mistakes as you improve your skills and knowledge base. People don’t get better at something unless they do it.
Beyond the learning opportunities, being limited from making higher-level decisions or completing new tasks is demoralizing and demotivating. If you don’t empower your employees and let them make mistakes, you will deflate them, stunt their growth, and at the same time stunt the growth of your company.
So, what are managers left to do? You must create an environment where you set people up to do their best work, minimize small mistakes, eliminate big mistakes, and to do this all without you.
To start, hire great people. If the person being tasked with something is not right for that task, (either because they do not have the training, capability, or willingness to embrace the task you are giving them), there is little chance they are going to be an employee who can thrive in their position and avoid devastating mistakes without you.
Second, realize your main role as a manager is not to do – it is to train. Your company must be structured so that managers have sufficient time and opportunities to pass knowledge on and empower people to do their jobs. Otherwise, the manager is set up for failure and so are the employees they supervise.
Third, create the context for decisions. Help others see what you have seen. Tell others about the mistakes you have made. Be open. Give people the framework for what can go wrong and how dire the consequences can be when certain mistakes are made.
And finally, draw the line on mistakes. What mistakes are unacceptable? Tell people before they happen. Don’t assume it is innate knowledge.
This all may take time that you think you do not have. But in truth it is your most important role. The worst thing you can do for your company, its growth, and its future is to discourage your employees from making mistakes. Because when you are doing so, most of the time you are preventing your employees from growing and doing their jobs in the first place.
Katie Johnson Treadway is the Head of Regulatory Affairs at One Energy.
Safety mirrors, like the one pictured below, often help drivers check around corners in parking garages or on small roads. At One Energy, they help employees maintain a high level of safety and awareness.
This mirror stands at the corner of an access road at the North Findlay Wind Campus. The reflection helps heavy-equipment operators see around them to keep themselves and others safe. The mirror even has a convex curve to help give these operators an incredibly wide view of their surroundings. And a bonus? The mirror can also give us a unique perspective of our turbines!
Our equipment, procedures, and operators all contribute to keeping safety at the forefront of everything we do.
Start your engines: it’s time for a ramp race! 🏁
Wax or wood – which surface will win? Find out by watching today’s episode of Science Shorts!
To demonstrate the concept of friction (which is described as a force that opposes motion) the experiment in this segment will involve blocks sliding down ramps, each with a different surface roughness. Watch for an explanation of friction on each surface, and root for the ramp of your choice!
And stay tuned to find out what would happen if friction didn’t exist (hint: you may have experienced this on an icy sidewalk in the winter!).
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and don’t miss any future Science Shorts!
They say that good is the enemy of great. When it comes to corporate tours, it seems like barely acceptable is the enemy of good, and great is nowhere in sight.
I cannot count the number of times I have visited a customer, vendor, or peer for a tour and been utterly disappointed. The hardest thing to do is get your target audience to come see you – in person. So if you get that rare opportunity with someone you’re hoping to build a professional relationship with, be sure to make the most of it.
A great tour communicates culture, shares a vision, and tells a great story. Every company should think about how to give a great tour for their story.
If you’re a disruptive company, display that disruption in your tour. If you are a company that is proud of your culture, highlight that pride in your tour. If you are a brand-conscious company, show off your brand. No matter what you do, please do not skip the tour and do not give a haphazard, poorly thought-out tour. That is how you waste an opportunity.
When we built our new headquarters in 2018, we planned the entire office around the ideal of creating a customer experience. We wanted the building to show people what we do and how we do it, and to make our very large, very complicated business of building Wind for Industry projects approachable. We typically give visitors an office tour and a yard tour. We have standardized these tours and we practice them. We have thought about the words we use, the route we take, and the experience we want to create for our business partners and community members.
A lesson we have learned that we did not expect, is that some of the most valuable tours are given to some of the people we didn’t design the tours for.
This weekend I gave a tour to the 80-year-old mother of one of our employees. Seeing the excitement in her eyes at both the company and the fact that her daughter works here was valuable to the employee, and consequently it was valuable to our company.
We give great tours to our employees’ families. We give great tours to local students and to government officials. We give great tours to everyone we can, and that makes us a better company.
If you want to build a great tour, I suggest the following:
- Figure out what story you want to tell; debate this vigorously
- Figure out what route and what dialogue you want to use to do a 15-minute-or-less tour
- Do the same for a more in-depth 30-minute tour that shows off your product
- Train the people who will give the tour and make them practice over and over
- Give the tour to everyone you can, and constantly reevaluate
When you give great tours, you will see a difference in the way your meetings go after the tours. You will see a change in the way business partners and customers view you. You will realize the value in taking 15 minutes to tell your great story. And you will probably have a whole lot of fun giving tours to the people you never expected they would be given to. I know I do.
Jereme Kent is the CEO of One Energy.
If it’s got oil, it gets inspected! 🔧
We’ve discussed the heavy equipment used for One Energy construction in past posts – but how do we keep those machines running smoothly? And more importantly, how do we keep the individuals operating the machines safe?
That’s where Brad comes in. Brad is OE’s heavy equipment mechanic, and in this episode of Technician Talk, he takes us through the equipment maintenance process.
Learn how he regularly inspects machines to make sure they’re working properly, why we prefer preventative maintenance instead of reactive maintenance, and how equipment operators can help. Above all, safety is our top priority, and inspecting for damage is one way we keep equipment safe for our employees.
This summer marks another year of Megawatt Scholarships awarded to graduating high schoolers residing in the communities of One Energy’s Wind for Industry projects. The total amount awarded since the 2015 start of this program now equals more than $400,000, a milestone which was featured in Yahoo Finance. Read the coverage above, and learn more about the STEM scholarships and participating partners at www.megawattscholarships.org.
Harry S. Truman once said, “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Ignoring his gender-specific opening, the statement is otherwise right on target. Someone has to take up the charge and mobilize the people and resources to implement change, and we identify those who are successful in doing so as leaders.
Dictionary.com defines “leadership” as “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.” Synonyms for leadership commonly include administration, management, directorship, control, and governorship. I don’t really think any of these words come close. There is much about leadership that is an art – intangible, elusive, and difficult to describe with other words, even though we all seem to have a pretty good gut understanding of what leadership is.
I think for many people, the word “leader” brings to mind images of important historical and political figures who were at the top of government or at the forefront of a movement. As the last century has seen businesses grow to such a scale that they exceed the size of small countries, and as we have witnessed business leaders gain massive amounts of media attention and often celebrity status, the concept of leadership outside of governmental and historical contexts is now commonly accepted. When we describe children and young adults as having “leadership potential,” we are just as likely to follow that with “You could be President someday” as we are with “You could be CEO someday.”
But the reality of leadership is that it occurs at every scale, in every setting, in every place, in every way. Leadership is as much about the microcosm as it is about the macrocosm. It isn’t just about running a country or a company, it’s about guiding or directing a group… any group. It can be leadership within the community, a school, a volunteer organization, or even within a family.
Most importantly, positions of leadership don’t have to be achieved by election, promotion, or a long, grueling “climb to the top.” Leadership opportunities are often there for the taking. I once attended a committee meeting just to see what it was about, and I ended up leaving as Treasurer/Secretary and chairing that committee for the next eleven years! When you see a problem that needs to be solved and you step up to make that happen, that’s leadership. It’s taking initiative, embracing ownership, and getting others involved. Great leadership is about being able to mobilize others towards the common goal of solving that problem, and that is far more all-encompassing than is conveyed by the synonyms of managing, directing, or controlling.
One of my favorite quotations, attributed to Margaret Mead, is “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” If you want to be a leader, look around. Our world is full of problems that need to be addressed. Your opportunity to bring together that group of thoughtful, committed citizens is right there. Have the courage to seize the opportunity to change things for the better. The world – both our global world and your individual microcosm – needs leadership, and the opportunities are everywhere.
Anne Bain is the Head of Accounting at One Energy.