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We are switching course, a bit, from previous entries here. No TED talks, inspirational quotes, or book recommendations. Rather, we want to focus on policy for a minute.

As many of you know, Westinghouse entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last month. Because much of our work is on the energy and nuclear side, we feel compelled to weigh in. Make no mistake; this is serious on so many levels. The root cause of Westinghouse’s demise involved new reactors being built in South Carolina (VC Summer plant) and Georgia (Vogtle plant). Woefully behind schedule and egregiously over budget to the tune of multi-billions, Westinghouse’s inability to deliver has caused serious financial harm not only to Westinghouse itself, but also to the parent company of Toshiba in Japan.

ELP’s position is that Westinghouse and its related nuclear aspirations matter. We base this assertion along several lines of reasoning. First, one out of every five light bulbs in the United States is powered through nuclear energy. Yes, nuclear supplies 20% of our nation’s energy grid. Second, it does this in an environmentally responsible manner. Nuclear power produces zero-carbon emissions—something that coal and natural gas cannot come close to boasting. Related, nuclear power benefits our nation through the notion of energy production density. Said differently, a nuclear power plant may take up 200 acres, yet a windmill farm needs roughly 20,000 acres to produce what a moderately sized nuclear power plant could do. Also, nuclear power provides a stable baseline of power. What this means to our non-nuclear readers is that nuclear power provides a constant and uninterrupted source of energy to our nation’s energy grid. Windmills and solar do that only when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, respectively. While some point to safety as a critical argument against nuclear power, we can point to evidence that would suggest otherwise. Namely, more people will die this year in U.S. coal mines than have died since the advent of commercial nuclear power in the United States. And, when we describe nuclear power stations to friends and family, we describe locales among the safest in the nation. Security is rigorous, and the leadership at all nuclear power stations that we’ve ever been to deeply understand that nuclear power technology is special and unique and there’s a reverence for it. Since Fukushima, U.S. nuclear power is even more safe.

We have a vested interest in keeping Westinghouse alive and nuclear power viable. That may call for state subsidies. For years, the playing field has been uneven. Renewables have enjoyed deep subsidies while nuclear power, with its zero-carbon emissions, did without. A more level playing field is needed. If we let nuclear power slowly die, that means we will lose both the expertise and the technology. For instance, we’ve heard of major, land-grant universities considering shuttering their nuclear engineering programs. We could go on, but at ELP we suggest that the best energy policy is a diversified energy portfolio. This means drawing on solar, wind, natural gas, and even coal-fired options. Nuclear, to be sure, needs to be a part of that mix. Rather than directing you to a TED talk, we’d like to point you to the Nuclear Energy Institute to learn more about our energy policies. CLICK HERE

To learn more about our services and what we stand for, please visit our website — http://www.exceleratedleadership.com.

Back by popular demand, we offer a link to a TED talk that is appropriate to our clients. Don’t worry; it takes less than five minutes to watch! Baked into this TED talk is the importance of validating the hard work of others, the potency of a mere ‘Thank You’, and showing gratitude at ALL levels within an organization. It just isn’t middle and senior management that make an organization tick. To the contrary, the day-to-day functioning of an organization is often done by unsung heroes. This is what this clip is about.

Industry seems to understand that research and scholarship matters. For instance, many of the training reaccreditation boards that our clients must report to often have an academic at the judgment table. At ELP, especially in the fields of training, human resources, and organizational behavior, we attempt to bridge theory and practice. This crusade to bring good scholarship to applied problems is on-going and just received a boost. ELP’s very own, Dr. Evan Offstein, was notified that his abstract and manuscript was accepted at an international conference in Florence, Italy. The focus of his topic is the changing nature of higher education and its impact on industry and national economies. To learn more about the conference, CLICK HERE.

Oh, and our plug! If you ever need an academic to sit in on a mock board or to review a self-assessment document like an Accreditation Self-Evaluation Report (ASER), please reach out to Dr. Evan Offstein at evan@elpadvantage.com.