Monday, October 29, 2007

Using your firm's environmentally friendly practices in recruiting

Using your firm's environmentally friendly practices in recruiting
Monday, June 04, 2007 | by Dr. John Sullivan

You would have to have had your head stuck in the sand to not be aware of the intense interest that the environment holds in today's political and social debates. While candidates of all generations have begun evaluating potential employers based on their "greenness," few in recruiting have leveraged this hot topic in recruitment communications and activities.

For some unaccountable reason, recruiting managers and leaders almost universally fail to implement a process that regularly discovers "job switch" decision criteria used by the best and brightest, and this latest oversight is nothing more than history repeating itself once again.

Because so many recruiting leaders fail to do their research, the vast majority of employers underestimate how important a company's degree of "greenness" is to potential hires. It is now becoming important for firms capable of touting their role as good environmental citizens to formally manage perception around environmental issues through employment branding activities.

In addition, individual recruiters need to make the firm's environmental stance a critical element of their sales pitch to potential applicants and candidates. The time to implement what I call a "green recruiting" strategy is now!

Environmental Sustainability Goes Wide
Companies like Honda, S.C. Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, Patagonia, Timberland, and GE have successfully used their environmentally friendly policies to sell their product and gain media exposure.

However, until recently, few firms have made a concerted effort to leverage the company's environmental stance as a critical point in recruiting pitches. Firms like Google, Timberland, and yes, even old-school General Electric have led the way by undertaking major efforts to make being environmentally friendly a critical element of their employment brand. Google, the world's only "recruiting machine," leads the way not just in its environmental practices but also in publicizing their environmental record and approach. Like many emerging green companies, Google has hired a director who coordinates corporate environmental efforts in an attempt to match their corporate business strategy with their environmental efforts.

Some sample programs at Google that support environmental issues include:

$5,000 subsidies for employees buying hybrid cars (Timberland offers $3,000)
Company dining facilities that serve organic sustainable foods
Charitable contributions to organizations that fight global warming
On-site farmers markets
On-site composting of food waste
Use of green fuels and solar power
Fully subsidized employee bus pools for commuting employees

Google has developed so many green programs that even former Vice President Al Gore, producer of the controversial documentary on global warming called An Inconvenient Truth is proud. It's no coincidence that Al Gore has been an advisor to the company for many years.

While some companies adopt the grassroots approach to going green, others start at the top and work down. General Electric is one of a small handful of companies that have an environmental effort driven by their chief executive officer, Jeff Immelt. If you watch television or read national magazines, you might recall seeing one of hundreds of ecomagination advertisements GE has spent millions on in recent years to "greenwash" their image. The ecomagination campaign is one of the boldest approaches to capture intangible value by touting environmental efforts in play by any global company.

Day in and day out, they are capturing that value by selling more product to environmentally conscious consumers and tapping candidate pools that once would have written them off as the destroyers of the environment, using the Hudson and Housatonic Rivers as living examples.

Reasons Why Firms Must Practice Green Recruiting
The tipping point for environmental consciousness varies around the world, but for many Americans it was the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In one day, an iconic American company had its reputation slaughtered. Sales were affected, employee pride was affected, as was their ability to recruit on college campuses around the world. For years, Exxon and their energy industry peers had to wage an environmental branding war in recruiting. But that was then, and this is now.

The new thrust of green recruiting is proactive and focuses on making "greenness" a major element of your employment brand. Some of the reasons why green recruiting is becoming more essential include:

Gen Y demands it. This generation has learned about the importance of the environment and recycling in classes since elementary school. They filter both product purchasing and job selection choices with their green mindset.
College grads demand it. Al Gore is a hero on most campuses. Students, while they are on campus, demand that every aspect of their campus life leave a minimal "environmental footprint." On my campus, San Francisco State University, even the most conservative of all schools, the College of Business is developing a "sustainability" major to satisfy the student demand for integrating business and the environment. It has become so important that even starting salaries take a back seat behind "greenness" when students evaluate potential employers.
Many job candidates care about it. Although no one has yet quantified the impact that being environmentally friendly has on recruits, if you ask candidates whether working for an environmentally friendly company is important to them, a vast majority will respond with an affirmative.
Global candidates can be passionate about it. Some countries around the world are extremely passionate about the environment (Germany, Australia, and Finland to name a few). As a result, if you expect to recruit the best from around the world, you must be prepared to meet a growing set of eco-expectations as an employer.

Action Steps to Implement Green Recruiting
There are many things that recruiting leaders can do to implement a strategy, including the following 17 action steps:

Identify candidate decision criteria. If you can't show that a large number of quality applicants consider a firm's environmental record as one of their primary criteria for selecting a job, you'll never get senior management to buy in to a major green recruiting effort. Start by holding focus groups at industry conferences to identify what "green" factors would be important to individuals seeking a new job. Next, ask candidates during interviews and on the website to list their decision criteria. During orientation, ask those who accepted the job what criteria they used to make the decision. Finally, contact those who rejected your offers three to six months down the line to identify positives and negatives. Use this information to modify your recruiting processes and focus.
Benchmark. Search the Web, benchmark with college recruiters, and work with recruiting consultants to identify the best practices of other firms. Use this competitive analysis to gauge your success and to plan your future actions.
Your website. Make sure that both "what you do" and the results of those efforts are prominent on your corporate careers website. Include your recycling statistics, as well as whether you are carbon neutral, limit greenhouse gases, or win environmental awards. Include narrative or video profiles of your environmentally conscious employees. If your company policies allow, link your corporate jobs site on major (but primarily nonpolitical) environmental websites.
Be talked about. If you have a strong environmental record, it's important to get "written up" in business, professional, and industry publications as well as in newspapers and on TV. Work with the PR department to identify which of your practices are most likely to be appealing to the media and designate an individual to be available for interviews. It's also critical to constantly scan the Web to identify and quickly counter any "negative" comments on your environmental record (Starbucks has done an excellent job but Apple is currently struggling in this area).
Recruitment advertising. Advertise in magazines that candidates who are sensitive to the environment are likely to read. Highlight a few "eye-catching" facts and any environmental awards you might have won in your recruitment ads. If you use brochures or paper recruiting materials, make sure it's from recyclable stock and that it says so on the document.
Job descriptions. Make sure that, where possible, job descriptions for high-volume hiring positions include responsibilities for minimizing negative environmental impacts. This is critical because if they don't see being environmentally friendly integrated into "every job" at the company, they might see your "green recruiting" as merely a PR effort. If you're really serious, include knowledge of environmental impacts under the skills required section of your job descriptions.
Interviews. Provide managers with "green" fact sheets to use during interviews. If you are really aggressive, provide candidates with a side-by-side comparison showing how your firm's environmental record is superior to other firms they might be considering.
Sourcing. One of the best ways to strengthen your environmental image is to hire lots of environmentally friendly employees who can spread your "green" story through word-of-mouth. Have your recruiting team identify the sources that produce the highest-quality environmentally friendly candidates. Source at environmental organizations (i.e., Sierra Club). Also, recruit at environmental events and use subscription lists from green publications or email and direct mail recruiting.
Employer referrals. Having your employees spreading the word will help both recruiting and product sales. If you have the resources, proactively seek out employees who are highly visible in environmental circles and ask them specifically to talk up your firm, to seek out candidates, and to provide you with names.
Awards. Winning awards for excellence is always a major element of building an employment brand, so obviously winning "environmental" awards should be a major element of your strategy.
Advisory group. Ask the advice of six to eight environmentally friendly employees, measuring the quality of the message you're sending and how to reach and convince more applicants of your strong "green" record.
Products. Obviously, applicants want to know that the products they are helping to produce are environmentally friendly. This means putting pressure on product advertising and marketing to include the fact that your products are eco-friendly in your product ads and packaging. In some industries, how you treat vendors and outsourced work can be important (i.e., Starbucks, Nike).
Value statements. Make sure that your corporate goals, values, and even corporate business objectives include environmental elements.
Annual report. Because some applicants take the time to read your annual report, make sure it includes sections that highlight your environmental record and the fact that you recruit environmentally friendly employees. If your firm uses bio-diesel fuel, pays fair market value to suppliers, is energy-efficient, or if it buys "carbon offsets," highlight these selling points.
Employee benefits. Consider adding holistic health options, paid time to volunteer for environmental causes, matching donations to green causes, and support for alternative transportation options to your benefit package.
Reward criteria. Include this factor in the performance appraisal system for all employees. Obviously, use it as a hiring criteria, but also use it as a critical element in promotions, bonuses, and pay increases.
Develop metrics and rewards. Because whatever you measure improves and whenever you add rewards to the equation the behavior improves even faster, your green recruiting effort must have metrics and rewards tied to it. Some of the metrics you want to include are the percentage of candidates aware of your strong environmental record, the number who reject offers because of a poor record, and the percentage of new hires who say your environmental record was one of their top-five reasons for accepting the offer. Hold post exit interviews with your top performers to identify whether environmental factors contributed to their exit.
Final Thoughts
Anyone familiar with sales knows that you need to appeal to things that are on the "top of the mind" to your target audience. The same holds true for recruiting.

Like it or not, environmental issues are on most everyone's mind, so if your firm has a competitive advantage in this area (or it can develop one quickly), it's incumbent on both individual recruiters and recruiting managers to integrate that message into your recruiting processes and your employment brand. This is especially true if you don't pay at the top of scale, if you are in a crummy location, or if you're not a well-known company.

Green recruiting is a chance to differentiate yourself in a recruiting marketplace where standing out from the crowd is already extremely difficult. Incidentally, not only does green recruiting improve your chances of attracting and selling candidates, it's also your chance as a recruiter to do your part to improve the environment by showing senior management the dollar impact it has on recruiting, retention, and product sales.

Dr. John Sullivan ( is a well-known thought leader in HR. He is a frequent speaker and advisor to Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley firms. Formerly the chief talent officer for Agilent Technologies (the 43,000-employee HP spin-off), he is now a professor of management at San Francisco State University. He was called the "Michael Jordan of Hiring" by Fast Company magazine. More recruiting articles by Dr. Sullivan can be found in the ER Daily archives. Information about his numerous other articles, books and manuals about recruiting and HR can be found at Dr. Sullivan is also the editor of VP of HR, an e-newsletter providing "out of the box" solutions for senior HR managers. Free subscriptions can be obtained on his website.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Can bloggers ever be green?

by James Murray
Blogging has apparently just celebrated its tenth birthday. Were it a person you'd say it was fast approaching those teenage years when it starts to get confrontational, aggressive, surly, pedantic, volatile and anti-social, but then again it's always been like that.

Unsurprisingly this anniversary has prompted one of those now perennial debates about what exactly blogging is for, whether it is proving beneficial, whether it is really, as it's advocates claim, poised to destroy the mainstream media, and most amusingly whether it is even ten years old.

The white-suited, best-work-behind-him novelist and supposed modern-day sage Tom Wolfe took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend dead tree publishing and slam the blogosphere as "a universe of rumours" filled with "narcissistic shrieks and baseless 'information'," which would be fair enough if it wasn't also a recognisable description all forms of media besides blogs.

With an inevitability that convention dictates we describe as wearying the blogosphere leapt to defend itself.

The most interesting response came from Scott Rosenberg, the co-founder of, who (somewhat ironically) took to the pages of The Guardian to argue that Wolfe was guilty of the exact same dismissive attitude that originally greeted his pioneering of the personal voice of New Journalism in the sixties. As with the New Journalism movement, asserts Rosenberg, blogging does little or no harm and in providing a more democratic platform for people to voice their opinions and emotions it can do much good.

He cites as an example the blog of 38-year-old Canadian blogger Derek Miller who earlier this year began posting about his experience with colon cancer:

"On one level, this was the sort of thing so many of blogging's critics detest - of what The Wall Street Journal described as "thoughts that, ideally, should have remained locked inside fevered heads".
Of course Miller's posts are not traditional journalism, or blows against the "MSM" [mainstream media], or anything like that. They're just one human being injecting a direct vision of his experience into the global information stream... His work simply matters - to him, and his friends and family, and to anyone else who drops in a gets caught up in the drama of his story."

As Rosenberg adds, if anyone objects to such blogs no one is forcing them to read. "What price is the world paying for the existence of blogging's universal soapbox?" he asks. "Unless someone has figured out how to make you read a blog when you don't want to, I don't see one."

Now it will surprise no one to learn that I broadly agree with Rosenberg's analysis - you after all reading this on a blog.

There are appallingly bad and even harmful blogs out there, just as there are apallingly bad and even harmful newspapers, TV programmes and people. The immediate mass publication that blogging enables may well increase the risk that ill thought out and occassionally libelous opinions are voiced, but weighed against that risk is the ability to provide a hugely open and egalitarian form of publication and communication. Some politicians and old school journlists may disagree, but blogging's accessibility and it's ability to stimulate debate and communities has to be good for democracy.

That said, Rosenberg makes one throw away comment that is almost undoubtedly supported by millions of bloggers and serves to highlight the most intransigent problem the IT industry faces as it attempts to tackle its burgeoning environmental footprint.

"So what, exactly, are Wolfe and other blogging detesters worried about?" he asks. "We're not going to run out of web space."

Well we might not run out of web space, but our real world space is taking quite a kicking as a result of our exponentially increasing need for web space and the computing power that provides it.

As has been noted here several times, IT is responsible for over two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions - the same as the airline industry.

A huge number of innovations in IT hardware, software and datacentre design promise to slash the IT sector's energy use in the short to medium term. But it is highly unlikely that any of the technological developments delivered over the next five years will deliver energy savings big enough to keep pace with the increased demand for computing power from corporations under pressure to keep and analyse more and more data, from consumers who want a server in the corner of the living room, from burgeoning developing economies wanting to come online, and yes, from the ever-expanding blogosphere.

The problem, as Rosenberg's comment encapsulates, is that no one sees IT and, more specifically, the internet as a finite resource that might have to be managed. It is ephemeral, it is free, or virtually free, it is ubiquitous - it really is like air. And as it becomes more and more central to democratic, social and economic life, as embodied by the benefits of the blogosphere that Rosenberg rightly espouses, access to the web becomes increasingly regarded as a right.

And yet the web space Rosenberg is so confident will not run out is entirely dependent on real world resources that can and do run out - the PC on your desk, the millions of miles of cabling that literally tie the web together, and most concerningly the football pitch-sized energy-guzzling datacentres that IT experts agree are increasingly constrained by a shortage of space and power.

The IT industry can do a huge amount to tackle these problems through better, more energy-efficient technologies, but perhaps it also has to begin to ask itself some unthinkable questions about how best to manage the "web space" we already have instead of trying to keep pace with exponential demand for more.

We're not going to run out of web space? Sadly I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Vatican Goes Solar?

ROME - Some Holy See buildings will start using solar energy, reflecting Pope Benedict XVI's concern about conserving the Earth's resources, a Vatican engineer said Tuesday. The roof of the Paul VI auditorium will be redone next year, with its cement panels replaced with photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity, engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna said.

The 6,300-seat auditorium is used for the pontiff's general audiences on Wednesdays in winter and in bad weather during the rest of the year. Concerts in honor of pontiffs are also staged in the hall, with its sweeping stage.

The cells will produce enough electricity to illuminate, heat or cool the building, Cuscianna said.

"Since the auditorium isn't used every day, the (excess) energy will feed into the network providing (the Vatican) with power, so other Vatican offices can use the energy," he said.

A feasibility study for the planned conversion, published recently in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, found it made economic sense. It quoted from Benedict's speeches defending the environment and noted that his predecessor, the late John Paul II, also championed the safeguarding of natural resources.

Cuscianna recalled a speech in which Benedict lamented "the unbalanced use of energy" in the world.

Last summer, Benedict called on Christians to unite to take "care of creation without squandering its resources and sharing them in a convivial manner." He said lifestyle choices were damaging the environment and making "the lives of poor people on Earth especially unbearable."

The modernistic hall, at the southern end of Vatican City, was built in 1969, designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi.

The auditorium "was born half-ecological," Cuscianna said, noting that Nervi used cement panels on its 6,000-square-yard flattened vaulted roof in part to help keep pilgrims cool.

The new roof panels will be the same shape and almost the same color as the cement panels they are replacing, minimizing the aesthetic impact, Cuscianna said.

Weathering has deteriorated the condition of the cement panels, which needed replacement, so Cuscianna thought it was the right time to make the move to solar in Mediterranean Italy, which enjoys many sunny days.

The Vatican is considering the installation of photovoltaic cells on roofs of other Holy See buildings, although centuries-old landmarks like St. Peter's Basilica won't be touched.

Monday, June 4, 2007

U.S. Continues to Lead the World in Wind Power Growth

WASHINGTON, DC – DOE releases its first Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2006, which provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of development and trends in the U.S. wind power market.

What Is Green IT? Cutting Emissions and Energy Use Enterprise-wide

How do you define "Green IT?" Sure, data center energy savings are a huge opportunity. Data centers consume more energy per square foot than any other part of an office building. But they're part of an information and services supply chain that begins with raw materials and ends with the disposal of waste. The chain includes people, the space they occupy, and the cars they drive. Along the way, the chain increasingly gobbles energy and spews greenhouse gases.

The IT department is in a unique position to change that. This is the first in a three-part series on IT's role in solving energy and environmental problems.

Start with the data center
Energy consumption in the data center is predominantly from two loads: servers and cooling. Increasing server density compounds the problem. A Gartner poll showed that more than 69 percent of data centers are constrained for power, cooling and space.
Energy-efficient servers are available from the major vendors, most notably Sun's CoolThreads technology that Sun says makes servers more efficient by a factor of five. Efficient processors from IBM, AMD and Intel are making their way into the mainstream, so your favorite server will soon be available in green.

The payoff of efficient servers is twofold. Servers that consume less energy also throw off less heat, requiring less energy for cooling. Alternative approaches, including ice storage and geothermal energy, accept the heat and focus directly on reducing the cost of cooling the data center.

Reducing cooling loads gets the attention of utilities because their summer peak demand periods are caused by air conditioning. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest natural gas and electric utilities in the United States serving 350,000 California businesses, is offering $1,000 rebates for buying efficient servers that generate less heat.

Utilities also offer incentive programs for virtualization, which reduces the number of physical servers required. Virtualization is not new, but vendors are repositioning it now that energy costs are of concern: "IBM sees virtualization combined with power efficiency as a key differentiator in our systems design” says Rich Lechner, vice president of virtualization at IBM.

Desktop PC energy use is manageable, too
Outside the data center, PC workstations make a sizeable contribution to US companies' power bills. It's not the 100 watts they consume, it's the sheer number of them out there. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance concluded that the average consumption could be shaved by about 25 percent through effective use of power management tools.
The state of the art in this niche is driven primarily by the demand for a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Workers don't want power management to intrude on their day, and IT doesn't want complaints to intrude on theirs. The result is network-based power management software.

Would centralized sleep control be beneficial to your network? A good way to find out is to install Verdiem's Surveyor demo without turning it on. Then use the "prediction" function to calculate the potential savings of each profile. Users will be unaffected and unaware of the test, and you'll have a good idea of the effectiveness in your situation.

To go a step farther, consider deploying thin client workstations. Thin clients didn't catch on when pitched as a way to reduce hardware and maintenance costs, but rising energy costs have added an effective selling point. Thin clients use about half the electricity of a typical desktop PC.

Convergence: enabling mobility inside and outside the building
Voice over IP brought together voice and data communications for some significant benefits. This step in convergence reduced the telephony wiring infrastructure and ongoing operation cost. VoIP and phone extension mobility also made practical a concept introduced in the early 1990s: hotelling of office space.
Hotelling reduces the square footage required per employee, because workers reserve space only when they need it. For many jobs -- sales, consulting, field service -- a dedicated office need not sit vacant, consuming energy for lighting and cooling.

Telecommuting is a companion concept that is gaining favor, not only for space reductions, but because suddenly companies are thinking about the emissions caused by the commuters they employ. Telephony technologies have made it practical to operate whole departments outside the building. Call centers at companies like JetBlue hire at-home agents whose physical absence from the building is practically indiscernible to customers.

Zealous adopters of these concepts have reported a 40 percent reduction in space requirements by leveraging their communications infrastructures. They also get to claim emission reductions due to fewer commutes.

IT enables other ideas that save energy and reduce emissions. Teleconferencing -- and its newest iteration, telepresence -- have cut down demonstrably on business travel. Electronic documents and processes reduce paper and the accompanying costs of copiers, printers and couriers.

Beyond these familiar ideas lies a huge opportunity scarcely tapped by IT: the building itself.
by Denis Du Bois

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Solstice Shakedown

This event is a great way to be informed and learn more about various sustainable topics. Check out!
Black Hills Sustainable Living Festival. Will you be there? I will!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Green Build Movment Advances In Brazil

The World Green Building Council welcomes the development of a Green Building Council in Brazil.

Environmental issues and sustainability are highly valued in Brazil, and the emergence of a Green Building Council is keenly anticipated by the local business community.

The Green Building Council Brasil (GBC Brasil) was formed through the joint efforts of business groups focused on the benefits of environmentally sustainable building practices and on the development of a rating tool and certification program. The green building movement in Brazil is also supported by Brazil's academic community who are providing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in sustainable construction.

WorldGBC representative, Guido Petinelli, has been based in Brazil and played a important role in the formation of GBC Brasil to date, and will continue to assist as it develops its organisational structure and implements a rating tool and education strategy.

We look forward to GBC Brasil becoming a member of the World Green Building Council shortly and working together towards a 'Greener' Brazil.

For further infomation on the GBC Brasil contact Thassanee Wanick, email :

you can read the original post at:

International Negotation: process defined

The following story is an example that demonstrates the importance of understanding Intercultural Communication and its impact on business processes. Recently I heard a story about an American CEO who went to Japan to meet with another company about a possible business partnership. None of the Japanese spoke English and the American did not speak Japanese so they employed the services of a translator. Throughout the business world American known for giving well organized presentations that inform, captivate, mystify, and entertain audiences. Americans often exploit a useful tool to begin presentations that has existed for hundreds of years and has been outlined by scholars such as Aristotle- a joke or funny story. Back to the story. The American, unversed in Intercultural Communication, begins his presentation by telling a short joke to engage his listeners. The translator, realizing the joke will not translate, decided instead to explain to the Japanese how Americans like to use humor to begin presentations and when the joke was over said to them, "The American wants you to laugh at him now"-and they did.
This is a dynamic situation. One underlying issue in this intercultural communication is cultural variation between interactants. In Japanese culture Saving Face is an important factor to be acknowledged and we can learn from how we see it treated in the above situation. I am getting off track.
As globalization takes hold on our world in general, it is simultaneously affecting our world of business and how we operate. Many global players are extending business beyond their borders daily and at an increasingly rapid pace. As businesses of this globalization era it is important we realize the impact foreign relations is and will continue to have on our bottom-line. The study and mastery of Intercultural Communication,if implemented correctly, could be what sets your organization apart from the competition on an international scale.
Most if not all business is contingent on a preliminary negotiation process in which parties involved express parameters, needs, expectations, hesitations, the list goes on. In general the International Negotiation process consists of common and conflicting interests between persons of different cultural backgrounds who work to reach an agreement of mutual benefit. When language barriers and cultural diversity is added into the equation these variegated situations can become haphazard failures.

So, what are some characteristics of effective negotiators?
  1. Observant, patient, adaptable, great listeners.
  2. Appreciate humor but are aware of how humor may or may not be used.
  3. Mentally sharp.
  4. Understands and researches the culture of interest-Empathy.
  5. Keep promises and always negotiate in good faith.

Considerations for cross cultural negotiation:

  1. The players and the situation.
  2. Decision making styles of the other party/parties.
  3. National Character-changes with situations and time.
  4. Cultural noise.
  5. Interpreters and translators:
  • positive- more time to think.
  • negative- mistranslation or things just do not translate.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Keeping Your Costs Down

There's a fine line between starting your business on a shoestring and letting it fail due to a lack of resources. You don't want to shell out big bucks just to get going, yet you want to look professional in the eyes of your customers.
The paradox and the challenge is to maintain the image of a solid, successful company without letting your expenses lead to uncompetitive pricing.
The trick is to determine the point at which your business runs both effectively and efficiently. This is a key issue for any startup that can determine whether you'll be able to survive. The good news is, if you master the art of trimming expenses early in the game, you'll develop good habits that'll serve you well as your company grows.
The first thing to do is cut your initial budget to the bare minimum. Chances are your business will start slow, so doing things for a dime that would otherwise cost a dollar is a great discipline. Here are some tips to keep early costs under control.
WorkspaceWhere you work often determines how well you work, but you can probably rough it a bit while still getting things done. For instance, you need a desk. Why not buy a good, secondhand desk from an office furniture rental company? Discount stores have great buys as well. Or get to know some of the bigger companies in your area that are upgrading their computers and are prepared to cut a deal to get rid of their older items.
Another suggestion is to negotiate with your landlord for free rent during your startup phase. Many office buildings are willing to reduce or even forego rent for as much as a year just to get tenants in the door.
Tools and ServicesEverything from paper clips to computers are your work tools, and everything from phone charges to business consultants count as business services. All these items are fair game for bootstrapping.
Buy office supplies in bulk whenever you can. Lease equipment and vehicles, rather than buying them. Keep your fixed costs down by turning as many tools and services into variable expenses as you can. That way your cost of doing business will grow only as your income grows.
People Controlling labor costs is probably the most formidable challenge you'll face. Don't learn the hard way, for example, that turnover wreaks havoc on your profits. When it's time to hire, do it carefully and intelligently. And if a person's performance isn't what you'd like, don't be quick to fire them. Work with them to improve.
While competitive compensation is essential to attracting good people, it doesn't have to all be in the form of salary. Remember the tip about turning your fixed costs into variable ones? It works in compensation as well. Supplement a small salary with the potential for healthy bonuses based on your company's earnings.
Give your employees perks, such as flexible work hours. Train them adequately for their responsibilities. And take the time to give them feedback and praise. Be passionate about your company and about them.
MarketingIt takes money to make money, but you'd be surprised how much marketing bang you can get without spending many bucks.
Word-of-mouth is the best and cheapest form of advertising, but that means a lot of networking. Attend business and community events to talk about your company, and don't forget to focus on your most desirable customers. Cultivate opportunities to be a featured speaker. Work the trade show circuit, even if you don't have the money for a booth or exhibit.
Don't forget the value of free media coverage. In the beginning, at least, you can make a reasonable go of PR by yourself. Call editors at publications important to your industry to let them know you exist. Write one or two short, newsy press releases and get them out to key newspapers and magazines. Request interviews on topics of interest to both you and reporters. Even one or two stories can generate a sizable amount of business.
Keeping startup costs to a minimum takes self-examination, resourcefulness and creativity. But as your business grows, you'll find the skills, when mastered early on, will be keys to your ongoing success--and the real enjoyment of your business.
By Brad Sugars April 16, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Zero Energy Homes

Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Fredrick Herzberg, a psychologist most renowned for his studies of job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory, was born in the post Ragtime era known as the Roaring Twenties.
The Motivator-Hygiene theory explores what a motivated person is and is not.
Herzberg's theory consists of two elements: Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction.
Happiness comes from within.

Satisfied----------------------------------------Not Satisfied =Motivating factors
Dissatisfied-------------------------------------Not Dissatisfied =Hygene factors

What are Satisfiers?
Satisfiers are motivating factors such as recognition, achievement, upward mobility, and the work itself.

What are Dissatisfiers?
Dissatisfiers are Hygene factors can erode long-term satisfaction but they are necessary and without them dissatisfaction will be experienced. Hygene factors include: wages, working condition, equipment, and many more. Is this saying that throwing money at people cheapens them?
So as employers we can learn how to help motivate and satisfy employees long-term by managing or leveraging the Motivator factors Herzberg outlines in his theory rather than the Hygene factors.
Do you see this same picture or am I off track?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Socrates on Ethics and Organizational Communication

In mid 400 BC Socrates recognized that each time the Greeks communicated verbally they were making ethical decisions. After his realization Socrates recommended the Greeks use a test each time before they opened their big mouths. This test helped the Greeks decide if they should or should not communicate- what a revelation? Socrates called this test the Three Filter Test. So, when involved in Organizational Communication, like the Greeks, could we use this test as a litmus for every workplace interaction?

The Three Filter Test


1.T= Truth- Is what I am about to say the absolute truth?

2.G= Goodness- Is what I am about to say good?

3.U= Usefulness- Is what I am about to say useful?

Socrates said, "if NO why tell me at all?"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

First Green Community College Campus

Jordan Rayboy, top worldwide producer, opens SearchPath International office - from an RV

This is a link to Bill Vick interviews Jordan Rayboy CEO and Founder of Insider Search a SearchPath International member firm.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Here are five considerations to be made when involved in a cross cultural negotiation

1. The players and the situation.
2. Decision making styles of the other party.
3. National character.
4. Cultural noise.(anything that could distract them)
5. Interpreters and translators- can be a positive because it gives us more time to think. Also, some things just don't translate- for example humor.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Some Things Not to do as a New Member of an Organization

1. Hold your supervisor responsible for your happiness.
2. Refuse the assistance from others within the organization.
3. Boast about your previous organization.
4. Expect rewards from the organization without putting in time and work.
5. Do your own thing- don't ignore the company culture.
6. Cause too much controversy over insignificant issues.
7. Become involved in the rumor-mill. IIA- Indirect Interpersonal Aggression
8. Don't recognize and respect tenured employees.
9. Talk openly negative about fellow employees and work.
10.Not use the proper communication channels.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Top 20 Jobs in America

I came across this article on The author writes about the top 20 jobs in America.

Executive Recruiter was 18th overall

A Recruiter was 1st for -Parents Returning to the Workforce

Recruiting manager was 16 for Retired Military

Green Building

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sustainable Community Trainings

Dear friends,
As someone who is concerned about our current global crisis, I know
that, like me, you are motivated to take positive action. "But how
do I start?" is a common question.

Do you long to create more supportive community in your life? Would
you like to lead a more earth-friendly lifestyle but sometimes find
the choices overwhelming? Come join us for a weekend or a week at
EcoVillage at Ithaca, an internationally recognized example of
sustainable community development.

Our popular EcoVillage Experience Weekends offer an immersion in
sustainable community living. Enjoy a balance of nature connection
and personal renewal along with a hands-on experience of community
learning, organic farming, green building, and more. EcoVillage
Experience Weekends are offered May 4-6, June 8-10, and September
7-9. For further details, please see

Creating Sustainable Communities: The Social Dimension, is an
exciting training session for those who want to learn how to start or
improve their own communities, whether in urban neighborhoods, or
housing cooperatives or ecovillages. This July 7-14 workshop will
introduce skills for creating shared vision and values, constructive
approaches to conflict, mutual support and celebration, and
sustainable behavior and culture change. For further details, please

All of our programs include an immersion in daily life at our
ecovillage as well as empowering tools and resources that you can use
in your world back home. Many people tell us that just visiting for a
few hours has influenced them with a profound sense of hope. Imagine
what a full weekend or a week can do!

Our scholarship program and commuter rates are designed to make these
programs accessible to as many people as possible. Please plan to
register early, as we expect the programs to fill up.

Yours for a sustainable world,

Liz Walker, Executive Director Elan Shapiro, Education Coordinator
115 Rachel Carson Way Ithaca, New York 14850 (607) 272 5149

Elan Shapiro
Sustainable Tompkins Program Co-Chair
Sustainable Living Associates, Principal
Frog's Way B&B
211 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY 14850

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Value of Being an SPI Search Consultant

With the most aggressive compensation plans in the recruiting industry and an unrivaled technology platform, we provide earning opportunities previously unavailable to search consultants. We lend our talents and resources resulting in considerable "start-up" time and considerably great success in the search consultants' efforts.

Do you work within the talent acquisition industry but are not a recruiter or consultant? Well, we are always looking for the best and brightest to make our organization better.

We Offer

A variety of aggressive compensation plans to choose from including Traditional and No Net Plans. On the Traditional Plan, the consultant is an employee of SearchPath, is paid an appropriate draw, earns up to 50% of every placement, and is provided benefits. On the No Net Plan, the consultant is an independent contractor, is paid on a straight commission basis payable as 1099 income, earn a minimum of 64% of every placement, can work within an office or as a virtual search consultant, but is not provided benefits.
A world class, Internet accessible technology platform allowing our search consultants to work from anywhere in the world.
State of the art ASP/VOIP phone system providing a wireless environment.
Performance based and ClientCentric fees allowing our consultants to approach potential clients with new and innovative fee structures unheard of in the industry.
Centralized research function providing instant candidate flow, exponential marketing opportunities, and up-to-date market information.
Extensive and constantly evolving training and mentoring program to stay in tune with the latest issues faced in the recruiting industry.
The option to transition into a franchise arrangement if desired.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Green Marketing

There's no doubt the green niche can be lucrative. Environmentally aware consumers tend to earn more and be willing to pay more for green products, such as organic produce and hybrid cars. The problem, however, is that only a very small percentage of consumers make their buying decisions primarily based on the environmental qualities of a product, says Edwin R. Stafford, an associate professor of marketing at Utah State University's college of business. Depending on what your product is, it may very well be difficult to sustain sufficient sales within that niche alone.

Stafford and his colleagues, Cathy Hartman and Jacquelyn Ottman, have done research on green marketing through a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored research program called "Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development [RERED]. "They've found that positioning green products on their inherent mainstream benefits can broaden their consumer appeal and enhance their likelihood for market success.

"While consumers say in surveys that environmentalism impacts their product choices, a variety of factors typically can impede green purchasing behavior, ranging from their immediate availability to price to convenience to perceived green product effectiveness," Stafford says. "A number of personal motivations and external factors impact green purchasing behavior, and targeting the elusive 'green consumer' can be challenging.

Educating the Consumer Fortunately, he says, there is great opportunity for marketing green products to the masses, and there are many examples of green products that have gone mainstream due to their practical consumer benefits, including front-loading, energy-efficient washing machines and other appliances, organic foods and heat-reflective windows. "What we see is that the success behind many green products is not their 'greenness,' but the practical value they provide consumers," Stafford says.

Sometimes practical consumer value may not be readily apparent in a green product, however, and that's where education will need to play an important role in your marketing efforts. Make sure that you bundle "consumer value" into the marketing messages for your green product.

"One of my favorites is the slogan, 'Long life for hard-to-reach places,' for General Electric's (GE) energy-efficiency CFL flood lights," Stafford says. "That communicates how a CFL's five-year life can be very convenient. The goal of green marketing communications should be to educate consumers that green provides practical consumer value."

Another place where you can take a cue is from the construction industry. Originally, mainstream consumers worried that green buildings would include inferior building materials, leading to decreased longevity. "Mention 'green building' to a traditional home buyer, and the image of Gilligan's Island and bamboo huts comes to mind," Stafford says. "The reality is, however, that green buildings are increasingly cleverly designed, often technically innovative structures that are super energy/resource-efficient, and work in harmony with the seasons. The construction industry has increasingly adopted the term 'high-performance building' to reframe 'green' away from any potential negative connotations."

You can do something similar with your product. Good luck!
Source: Business Week
Publication date: March 6, 2007
I'm interested in distributing a niche product that falls into the "green" category, but am not sure how to market it. Should we reach out primarily to consumers already buying environmentally friendly products, or try to expand the potential for customers?
-- K.W., Roseville, Calif.

UK Green Building Council Launched

from World Green Building Council Homepage by
The World Green Building Council is pleased to recognise the UKGBC as our latest member.

On the 27th of February 2007 UK's leading built environment organisations launched the UK Green Building Council, with the aim of dramatically improving the sustainability of the built environment within the next ten years.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Immediate and Measurable

The two most important keys to achieving true progress in sustainability are immediate and measurable. Green Building needs immediate and measurable results. The Living Building challenge and the Version 3. standards recently announced by LEED is a call for architects, engineers, interior designers, and product manufactures to step up to the plate and hit a homerun. A homerun is a building that not only sustains itself but also produces extra energy- thus energy plus building. This is a good step but Green Building or sustainable design in the USA is somewhat of a spring chicken. In every journey it is always good to have a leader. Europe and other countries are ahead of the United States in most areas of all environmental issues. Europe for instance has been a leader in many areas of energy efficiency and regulating it through various techniques. Follow the leader. I think follow the leader will be the title and subject of my next post.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Version 3 of LEED

Title:LEED Version 3.0: Foundation for the Future
Author:Jessie Sackett, USGBC

It's an all too common frustration in the 21st century: we buy the fastest computer or the smallest digital camera or the flattest television, only to find it has become obsolete as soon as we get the packaging off. In an era of extraordinary technological advancement, we're no longer asking if we can do something, but how we can do it faster and easier. The race to answer that question has given us products and capabilities we couldn't have imagined a few years ago, but also sometimes leaves us wishing we'd waited just a few more months to make the purchase.
We're reached a similar stage in green building. Now that green is clearly here to stay, the question is shifting from how to build green, to how to build green better. USGBC is responding to this shift with the development of LEED "Version 3.0", which will harmonize and align the many versions of the LEED green building rating system (new construction, existing buildings, etc.) as well as incorporate recent advances in science and technology. Unlike a software company or a TV manufacturer, though, we're not treating LEED v3.0 as a discrete "event"; you won't wake up one morning to find that a new version of LEED has hit the street and made your version out of date. Instead, we're taking this opportunity to introduce a continuous improvement process into LEED: creating a more flexible and adaptive program that will allow us to quickly identify and incorporate new knowledge through our consensus processes, and thus respond seamlessly to the market's evolving needs. "LEED Version 3" is thus a working title—nomenclature around which to coalesce our development efforts—rather than a new product per se.
No doubt you've heard of LEED v3.0 before; USGBC and the green building community have been talking about the next iteration of LEED for several years. The conversation to date has focused primarily on scientific and technical changes to the rating system, such as basing credits on Lifecycle Assessment and introducing bioregional weighting. These ideas are integral to the future of LEED, but we've recognized that they represent only one of the areas we need to address. We're asking ourselves a number of questions about what it will take to build green better:
Performance: What technical and scientific innovations to both the content and structure of the LEED rating system will create better, greener, more sustainable buildings?
Transformation: How can we improve LEED’s applicability to more of the marketplace, with a focus on our mission of market transformation?
Customer Experience: How can we make LEED work better for the people and organizations who use it, always maintaining our technical integrity and rigor, while reducing costs?
To help us answer these questions, we've been reaching out to leaders, visionaries, and experts from throughout the building and environmental communities. We're also conducting a series of workshops through our local chapters to ensure that we hear from the full spectrum of the industry, and from every region of the country. (Contact your local chapter to learn more about opportunities to participate). Based on the feedback we hear, we'll be developing the scope and workplan for the development of 3.0, which we'll be publishing in initial form at Greenbuild 2006 in Denver.
Our goals for LEED are deeply rooted in our Guiding Principles, which will be integral to the ongoing development and improvement processes. There is an awesome wealth of information, ideas, and voices, including some which may try to distract us from our mission. But with these principles as both framework and filter, we know—and you know—that LEED will remain forever grounded in the essential values that have guided us since the beginning.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Green Is Gold

The newest buzz is Decarbonate. Also new Planet positive! More to come..................

Making Green Immediate and Measurable

The theme of the year set by the USGBC is the Living Building Challenge-
Going Beyond Platinum
16 prerequisites

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Retooling the Built Environment

Definition of Built Environment:

Adaptations to terrestrial environment which help us change our behavior.
Built for specific activity or purpose.
Why build Green?
The way we build our environment can increase/decrease health of communication and productivity.

Layout Patterns that exist in built environments.

  • Fixed feature-space restricts communication.
  • Semi fixed feature-space movable within a fixed space (e.g. furniture).
  • Informal space-(perceptual) smaller or bigger depending on number of people. We create a bubble for instance. Lasts only as long as the interactants communicate.

Monday, February 5, 2007

International Roofing Expo

Is your company planing to be an exibitor at the 2007 International Roofing Expo?

Does your product have what it takes to be considered a green product?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Groups vs. Networks

A properly organized group can function to bring advantages to its members by providing structure, effective information flow, and chain of command to the communication process. This is important because most groups form to ultimately reach a shared goal. The quality and efficiency of communication between group members is important because it can make or break the ability of the group to be productive in achieving the goal. Normally after deciding the goal of the group the creator(s) then proactively decide what positions are needed within the group and choose the people accordingly to fill the specific roles. The desired structure of the group will depend on the purpose the group is forming and what goal they are attempting to achieve: leisure, work, necessity, or duty. The structure of the group will therefore also affect the communication process and ultimately result in the ability to achieve its goal. To me the most important result of organized group communication is this: when one sends a message the receiver has the authority, ability, and motivation to act on it. It is important to keep in mind that most groups are created to complete a task.

Networks are also a beneficial communication tool. If used properly your network can help you link with individuals through other people in your network. Often these individuals are not direct connections and we would not otherwise be able to connect directly with desired contact without the help of our network. A network branches out through the members to help the networker reach key people in a vast variety of people in positions around the globe. That said I think that a network would be the perfect way to find the ideal individuals to create an organized group.

I am interested in learning and hearing about the ideas you have about both of the above topics. I would like to network with those who share similar thoughts, and eventually I would like to work with others who share similar interests to form a small organized group on the internet.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tips For Going Green-Product

1. Quantify the distance from where your product harvested, made, manufactured and also to where it is used?
2. How environmentally friendly or Green is your manufacturing process?
3. How Green are your employees
4. If you are not so green are you offsetting?
5. What is the lifetime expectancy of your product?
7. Do you use any post consumer products where possible
8. How can the material be used after it has served its purpose be continued

Things that interest me

Analysis Energuide Housing
Conservation Ethic
Connection to Outdoors
Cradle to Cradle
Energy Efficiency
Energy Security
Energy Star
Environmental Economics
Efficient Appliances
Efficient Fixtures
Geothermal Heating
Going Beyond Sustainability
Green Manufacturing
Green Marketing
Green Interior Design
Insulation Levels
Landscape Architecture
Lifecycle Energy
Local Materials
Low-Emitting Materials
Urban Planning
Natural Ventilation
Noise Polution
On-site Renewable Electricity
Passive Housing
Passive Solar
Planned Communities
Promoting Sustainability Ajenda
Retooling the built environment
Smart Growth
Stormwater Management
Thermal Conductivity
Urban Planning
Recycled Materials
Wastewater Treatment
Water Harvesting
Wind as a Problem and a Solution
Zero Energy

Did you know

SearchPath of Green Search networks with talented professionals in environmental conscious positionsViewing Carbon as a business issue.Why Build Green?Did you know?(information provided by LEED©)
The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity.
In the United States, buildings account for:
36% of total energy use/65% of electricity consumption
30% of greenhouse gas emissions
30% of raw materials use
30% of waste output/136 million tons annually
12% of potable water consumption

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Green Search a SearchPath International Member Firm Specializing in Headhunting, Third Party Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Search Consultants

In an effort to ramping up and getting calibrated SPI of Green Search is now attempting to be in as many places on the web as possible