eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector

eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector.

We respectfully invite Veterans, Active Military and / or their Families (as young as 8 years of age) to benefit from FREE Energy Industry related eCourses.

Honoring our Veterans and creating their accountability / oversight / support of our Home School Program.
REGISTER NOW, classes begin November, 2012

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Major progress in removing toxic chemicals from consumer products

Great news heard this morning on CBS.

Noting that Johnson & Johnson recognizes the toxic chemicals in their products and have stated they will remove them from all their products by 2015.

So relieved to see they have admitted it and will have toxic chemicals removed from Baby products by 2013 and the rest of their products by 2015.

We have tolerated (most likely without full knowledge or disclosure) these chemicals because of synthetics having a lower price tag.

In order for us to use non-toxic shampoo, soap, moisturizers etc, we have to up the ante and pay more for safety.

What is right with this picture?  What is wrong with this picture.

We call ourselves ‘mitigatetoxins’ on Twitter for a reason.

Joy to J&J now hoping the rest of the industry follows suit.

earth energy Solutions questions CPUC decision, negative reward

English: WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2011) An advanced...

are you FOR or AGAINST smart meters? Tell us why.

Electra Po posted in Wireless Right To KNOW.

Electra Po

8:49pm Feb 2

CPUC granted an opt-out today but Californians still need to pay for it:
From the EMF Safety Network:

“Today the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 4-0 to allow PG&E to charge customers $75 initial fee and $10 a month for restoring or retaining their analog meter- or $10 initial fee and $5 a month for CARE customers. Commissioner Florio was notably absent for the vote.

Everyone has paid for Smart Meters through rate hikes on our utility bills. So, if you still have the analog, not only do you not get a refund for the Smart Meter you will not use, but you have to pay to keep the analog meter you already have. Michael Peevey, who wrote the proposal justified the fees, calling it a “service”.”

earth energy Solutions is grateful to BEACON protect precious water

EPA To Provide Nearly $10 Million to Clean Up Beaches Across the Nation/The agency launches improved website for beach advisories and closures

Release Date: 01/31/2012

Contact Information: Enesta Jones (News Media Only), jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355 Denise Hawkins (Public Inquiries Only), hawkins.denise@epa.gov, 202-566-1384

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will provide $9.8 million in grants to 38 states, territories and tribes to help protect the health of swimmers at America’s beaches. The agency also launched an improved website for beach advisories and closings, which will allow the public to more quickly and easily access the most current water quality and pollution testing information for more than 6,000 U.S. beaches.

The website, called BEACON, has the capability to update as frequently as every two hours based on new data provided by states, territories and tribes. Users will have access to mapped location data for beaches and water monitoring stations, monitoring results for various pollutants such as bacteria and algae, and data on public notification of beach water quality advisories and closures. For the first time, users can also access reports that combine notifications and water quality monitoring data. The enhanced system also uses enhanced map navigation and report display tools.

The majority of beach advisories and closures in the United States are due to water test results indicating bacterial contamination, which can make people sick. Bacterial contamination comes from a variety of sources.. Some examples are sewer overflows, untreated stormwater runoff, boating wastes, wildlife and pet waste, and malfunctioning septic systems.

During each swimming season, state and local health and environmental protection agencies monitor the quality of water at the nation’s beaches. When bacteria levels in the water are too high, these agencies notify the public by posting beach warnings or closing the beach.

The grants will help local authorities monitor beach water quality and notify the public of conditions that may be unsafe for swimming. This is the 12th year that EPA is providing beach grant funds, bringing the total amount EPA has made available to nearly $111 million.
As a result, the number of monitored beaches has more than tripled to more than 3,600 in 2010. Grant applications must be received within 60 days of publication of EPA’s notice in the Federal Register. EPA expects to award the grants later this year.

View EPA’s enhanced beach advisory and closing information: http://watersgeo.epa.gov/BEACON2/

More information on the grants: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/beachgrants/index.cfm

Clean Water Clear Air … actions we must take now

 Did you read how many wells are contaminated with toxins from runoff?
 
Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again!

Dear eeSGroup,

It’s pretty simple: our water should not be used as dumping grounds for polluters.

The White House has been working to make sure that our wetlands and small streams finally get the strong protection they need.  Let the Administration know you support these strong clean water policies. Ask them to finalize the proposal to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act now!

Many small streams and wetlands are currently vulnerable to pollution and destruction because of policy decisions made by the last Administration, after confusing Supreme Court rulings.  Last year the Obama Administration proposed to fix this problem.  But powerful special interests oppose these common sense updates and are attempting to delay this vital work. Clean Water Action members like you can make sure the President continues to move forward to protect streams, wetlands and other water threatened by polluters.

These streams and wetlands aren’t just geographical features.  They provide drinking water for over 117 million people, serve as critical habitat for fish and wildlife, protect us against floods, and filter pollution.  They are vital parts of our water infrastructure and need to be protected by the Clean Water Act.  You can ensure this happens by joining thousands of Americans who are telling the President that we support his efforts.

Before the distraction of an election season takes over, we need your help to show President Obama that we agree with him that clean water is the foundation of healthy economies and healthy communities. Let’s remind him that our nation’s clean water progress needs to continue!

Please take action today!

-Jennifer

Jennifer Peters, National Water Programs Coordinator

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Flowchart diagram

Image via Wikipedia

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Posted by Jeff Hajek, May 15, 2011

Quite often, whether on the shop floor or in the office, a process grinds to a halt when frontline employees have to go seek manager approval for something. Whether it is for spending that exceeds a prescribed threshold, when two employees want to swap work stations to stay fresh, or to sign off on a repaired product after a defect is corrected, if a manager is not immediately available, work flow is disrupted.

In some cases, the manager even intentionally develops a batch process to avoid interruptions. Perhaps she reviews all new spending requests on Thursday morning. Great if you come up with an idea on Wednesday afternoon, but not so good if you have your flash of brilliance at the start of the shift on Friday.

So, to combat the review processes in your company, I recommend you look at every manager approval your organization requires. The goal is to determine the underlying reason that the check is in place. Then, see if any of the assumptions that drive the review process are valid, or if they are obstacles that can be removed.

Why go through this drill? For two main reasons. The first, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is that approval processes disrupt flow. They also add copious amounts of waste. The manager is interrupted and has to figure out what is going on, which takes their time. And, of course, there is also the time the employee spends explaining what is happening, or gathering and documenting information. Plus, and perhaps most problematic, when a file is sitting in a stack waiting to be looked at, a customer is frequently not being served.

The second, and far more important reason, though, is that approvals send the wrong message to employees. If you want a continuous improvement culture with an empowered workforce making decisions that strengthen the company, leaders have to actually give authority to their teams. Requiring sign-offs, especially for minor things, doesn’t scream empowerment.

Some common reasons approval processes exist include:

  • Lack of a Process: Some managers use ‘gut feel’ decision making. For example, when deciding whether to let someone have a day off of work, a manager probably considers several factors, but likely doesn’t use the same criteria each and every time. By defining a process, a team could easily develop its own vacation process and manage it themselves.
  • Lack of Training: When a process is in place, but is not known by teams, it is the same as having no process. Teach teams how to think the same way that a manager does, and they will get the same results.
  • Access to Information: Managers generally have access to more information than employees do. A prime example is the budget. An employee making a decision about a purchase may not know where the team is in terms of expenses. Give your teams more information, and they will make better decisions. When they are thinking in terms of actual dollars, they will also be more likely to weigh the costs and benefits of the decision, and will even filter out some of their requests on their own.
  • Risk: Asking someone to take risks requires that they get more substantial rewards. Many people will feel uncomfortable making decisions ‘above their pay grade’. Managers should keep the riskier decisions to themselves, but in truth, most frontline employees don’t want to take on deciding whether to roll out a new product or where to build a factory. They would, however, love to be able to decide to purchase a new computer monitor to replace one with a bad flicker. And they don’t want to have to jump through a bunch of hoops.
  • General Convention (AKA “We’ve always done it that way”): History is tough to overcome. If the best answer you can find about why a manager makes a decision is that the manager before made that decision, it is time to work on eliminating that approval process.
  • Psychological Factors: Some managers like having power. They like having control. They like feeling important. There’s probably even a psychological term that describes how people lacking control in one area of their lives grasp onto it in another area to compensate. This situation is particularly hard to deal with because reason and logic often don’t play a major role. If you suspect this is the case, an anonymous request to a more senior leader for a specific process improvement project, or a conversation with a trusted mentor or HR rep can help get this barrier removed.
  • Fear: When a manager has been bitten by a problem in the past, he is less likely to give up control in the future. Look at the reasons for past issues, and consider the root causes that led to the failure. You’ll find that most of those reasons could have been prevented by clearly defining a policy or process, and by making sure employees knew, understood, and followed it.
  • A Mandate: Often, a manager must approve something because of a mandate. Perhaps a director in the finance department saw an increase in overnight shipment charges, and got a policy implemented that requires all ‘red’ shipments to be signed off on by a manager. Mandates like this, though, are seldom passed after a visit to gemba, the specific place where the actual work is being done. Many mandates are established in a conference room. Try this: Mandate that all mandates be physically signed off on the shop floor after speaking to a frontline employee, and more than a few probably would end up in the trashcan.
  • Lack of Trust: While it is seldom explicitly stated, a common driver for approvals is that many managers simply do not trust their employees to make good decisions. Trust, though, is often just the surface reason. It often is related to another item from this list. Solve that underlying issue, and the trust problems tend to dissipate. Keep in mind, though, that trust issues are amplified when there is an adversarial relationship between managers and their teams.
  • Crime: This is the elephant in the room. Some leaders think that employees will steal if not monitored. The question, though, is whether employees act unscrupulously at a higher rate than managers. I’ve never seen any data that shows that ethical behavior is correlated to rank. In fact, if I were to gamble, I would bet that more total dollars in losses are related to criminal activity that comes from white collar crimes at higher levels than from ethical lapses originating on the shop floor. Regardless, in cases where there may be a temptation, consider using peer review to have teams police themselves.
  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Sorry. Not much to be done here. Just make sure that a qualified expert has reviewed the legal statutes and regulations, and that there is, in fact, a requirement for manager approval. Sometimes, misinterpretation creates more work.

So, again, I recommend that you take a look at each and every approval process, and determine what would need to happen to remove that need for authorization. If you want a truly empowered workforce, they have to have the authority to make decisions on their own.

Now, I am certainly not saying to just eliminate all approvals tomorrow, but I do firmly believe that it will be good for your company in the long run to improve your processes so approvals by managers become unnecessary. Just get it into your mindset that approvals are a warning sign of poor processes.

My challenge to you, before you leave this webpage, is to commit in your mind to one approval process that you will start working to eliminate. I’d love to hear the process that you are going to work to resolve. Let me know what it is at Info@Velaction.com.

This article originally appeared on Jeff’s Gotta Go Lean blog.

Illinois is 8th in United States for Green Buildings

Illinois is 8th in United States for Green Buildings.

Energy Quote

Energy Quote.

Explore this link to see how your business or residence can significantly reduce energy expense by reducing demand on the electric utility company.

Request a FREE ENERGY SURVEY

energy efficiency | conservation | alternatives

ANALYSIS to see the ‘to the penny’ results over the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years.

You are a Rolls Royce, which model are you?

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior with out your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

”By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” Edwin Elliot

Find your strengths and use them in a positive way.

Travel the road that you have chosen and don’t look back with regret. You have to take chances to make your dreams happen.

Remember that there is plenty of time to travel another road – and still another – in your journey through life.

Take the time to find the route that is right for you. You will learn something valuable from every trip you take, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Tell yourself that you’re okay just the way you are. Make friends who respect your true self.

Take the time to be alone, too, so you can know just how terrific your own company can be.

Remember that being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely; it can be a beautiful experience of finding your creativity, your heartfelt feelings, and the calm and quiet peace deep inside you.

Don’t ever forget that you are special and you have within you the ability to make your dreams come true.

~ Jacqueline Schiff ~

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