Start-up: Taking the leap

“Start-up renewable energy in town?” I heard, and in the blink of an eye, I rose my hand. Too many questions in mind. How? Where? When? How do you start a brand-new renewable energy company from scratch in this era? It turns out that Portland has a healthy ecosystem of renewable energy companies. It is… Read more »

Financial Risk & Controls Management Best Practices

It is very common that day-to-day activities and issues in your workplace consume most of your time and usually don’t leave you with time to really consider what practices are value-added for achieving your objectives. As finance professionals, we get engaged in how to make cost reductions, how to implement a resolution to an audit finding, or just how to support the operation of the… Read more »

Seeing Portland in Japan: The Culture of Food

As I walk through the streets of Fukuoka in the Kyushu island of Japan, a familiar scene came into my focal point- food carts along the ridge of the Naka River. I live in Portland, a food cart obsessed city where good, cheap, creative food plates are one of the delights the urban center has to offer…. Read more »

How do you create self-organizing teams? You don’t. Part 2

It’s not just companies and managers who want self-organizing teams; people doing the work have very similar goals:  Autonomy – the desire for self-direction   Mastery – improvement in areas which matter to us  Purpose – a sense that our work is meaningful.   “There is an ugliness in being paid for work one does not like.”  -Anaïs Nin  Diary1941  Science suggests autonomy, mastery, and purpose are far more effective than incentives for motivation. So if companies, their people, and… Read more »

How do you create self-organizing teams? You don’t.

If you hire, manage or lead people, you’ve likely heard the buzz. There is an increasingly common desire in business for self-organizing teams. From Amazon’s two pizza teams to Spotify’s squads, the value of small, self-organizing teams has been well documented:   Rapid innovation in complex organizations  Full ownership, accountability, and visibility from conception to delivery   Those closest to the work best… Read more »

Building a Better Project Team

You know the feeling. Your project is teetering on the edge of disaster. A run of setbacks has the team struggling, and you’ve just found out that the equipment you need for the next phase will be six weeks late. What happens now? All too often, the result is a mess of disillusionment, finger pointing, and delays. But some teams pull together, find creative solutions, and… Read more »

5 Growth Strategies for Young Consultants

For a young business consultant playing in a field with colleagues and clients who surpass you in age and experience, adding value is one of the biggest challenges. Some 600,000 people in the United States currently work as consultants, but with millennials – the largest generation in the U.S. workforce – just beginning their careers,… Read more »

“What’s the single-most important thing to you today?”: An Agile Approach to Developing New Lifeblood Software with Stakeholders at Heart

On May 22, 2017, OIA Global’s new software system, OptiLink, went live to manage one-third of its operations. OptiLink will serve as the operational backbone to nearly every functional group at OIA, offering its customers greater value, and expanding operational capabilities and efficiencies company-wide. OptiLink replaces what had grown to be five separate software systems… Read more »