Archive for June, 2009

Bring on the Energy Debate

June 26th, 2009

Wow.  We have a lot of work to do to build a public private consensus on transforming our country’s energy system.  The reaction to my Business Week column, Energy Innovation Should Trump Job Creation, speaks volumes about how far we need to go.  There will always be disagreement and countervailing arguments about trade-offs in any transformation but these visceral responses claiming that there is no impending environmental crisis or there is nothing that we can do about it are alarming.

Check out these excerpts from comments posted to my column: Read more

Energy Innovation Trumps Green Jobs

June 23rd, 2009

bw_255x5411In my Business Week column this month I assert that our national energy conversation has been subsumed by the frenzy over green jobs.

Across the country, it is hard to find an elected official who hasn’t jumped on the green economy bandwagon. So many stump speeches marry the policy objectives of saving the environment and creating jobs. It starts at the top: President Barack Obama has promised to spend $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million green-collar jobs. Like a human wave at a sporting event, Americans are cheering for the green economy to bring us out of our economic funk and solve global warming and foreign energy dependence, all at the same time.

Of course, we have serious work to do in these important policy areas. The threat of climate change is real and we must act now. Transforming our national energy system will require broad public support and collaborative innovation across sectors. The current economic crisis is a wakeup call for our country to become more competitive by strengthening our education and workforce development systems and committing ourselves to a national innovation agenda. While there is overlap and potential synergy between energy and economic policies, I worry we will accomplish neither if we treat them as one big policy mashup.

Read the rest of the Business Week column here.


June 19th, 2009

Out of Office, AutoReply:  Sorry I will be out of the office this week.  In an emergency you can contact……   Away messages bug me.  Away from what?  Aren’t most of us away from our desks all the time?  If we aren’t maybe we should be!  Who doesn’t get emails remotely these days?  I don’t need to know that you are traveling this week.  I assume that you are not sitting at your desk waiting for an email but out at meetings and visiting with customers.  You will get back to me when you can.   Read more

The Plumber and the Police Chief

June 5th, 2009

mhtIn this month’s It’s Saul About Innovation column in Mass High Tech I celebrate two innovators that are not your usual suspects.

Innovation is about a better way to deliver value. Innovators are all around us. They are taking advantage of today’s technologies and creating new ways to deliver value. We can learn from them if we look up from our silos.

Sometimes the most inspiring innovators are in places we would never have thought to look. Or perhaps we just don’t notice them because our attention is focused on the inventors of new technologies or the entrepreneurs who are making progress in bringing inventions to market. Those people are important but not the whole story.

Meet the plumber and the police chief.

Continue reading the MHT column.