Alternative Energy Still Needs Traditional Leadership Skills

Alternative energy could be the single most important issue that we face in the 21st century. Moving our global economy away from petroleum and toward a healthy and sustainable source of renewable energy will take tremendous effort, dedication, passion, and commitment of resources. Although scientific strides are being made–the Energy Bioscience Institute in Berkeley, Calif. is a huge step in the right direction–we don’t often hear about another extremely important factor: the development and advancement of leadership skills in the alternative energy industry. While science is making impressive discoveries, the industry needs to make a commitment to develop the leadership and interpersonal communication skills that must accompany technical aptitude for a successful transition to sustainability.

Having consulted for a bio-fuels company before joining Barnes & Conti, I can say that Barnes & Conti is uniquely able to support the development of these difficult skills in the alternative energy industry. Barnes & Conti already has significant experience working with scientists, research laboratories, and several organizations that are leading the field in alternative energy research. Beyond that, our energetic staff of trainers and consultants possess a combination of an environmental consciousness that is second to none and a business acumen that allows Barnes & Conti to understand the training needs to both established corporations as well as the smaller and more innovative start-ups that are beginning to surface. In fact, three of our courses – Exercising Influence, Constructive Debate, and Managing Innovation – specifically address areas that are vital to the growth of these emerging green industries.

Earning the widespread support needed to enact the serious changes in policy and behavior that will make a difference requires clear communication and effective influence skills. Barnes & Conti’s Exercising Influence program strengthens the expressive and receptive components of communication and develops the flexibility and focus to know when and how to best use those components. The need to blend the passion of environmentalism and social justice with entrepreneurialism and industry provides an appropriate venue for these skills.

Our Managing Innovation and Constructive Debate programs will prove equally useful. We desperately need innovative solutions to reduce our reliance on petroleum. While our Managing Innovation program teaches the skill-sets and mind-sets needed to produce the maximum value from new ideas, our Constructive Debate program teaches the skills needed to make sure that the best ideas get brought to the forefront. The urgency of the climate crisis creates the temptation to enact individual “good” ideas immediately. However, by engaging the differing viewpoints and moving past vested interests in a civil dialogue, leaders can identify the best ideas – the ones that will truly make a difference – and move those ideas into action

This is the time for moving ideas into action – particularly because inaction will have devastating consequences. The alternative energy industry is an exciting and evolving marketplace, and Barnes & Conti has the knowledge, passion, and programs to help develop the skills needed for sustained success and a better tomorrow.

by Sam Roberts

For more information on how Barnes & Conti can help your company, visit or call 800.835.0911.

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