“Regaining momentum takes three times as much energy as sustaining momentum.” – Daniel Pink
Big lofty goals are exciting. They get people motivated, they inspire, and they give us something to dream about and look forward to.
More often than not, however, that’s as far as it goes. The goals are made, imagined, but never achieved, and a big reason for this is that we simply run out of steam.
The remedy for this? Learning to maintain momentum. Setting goals is, of course, necessary, but to actually achieve them, we need to find a way to continue working towards them long term. By implementing the following simple steps, you can take your business (and personal) goals from the brainstorm session and into reality.
Take small steps everyday
If you want to run a 5K and you’re not a runner, you don’t lace up your shoes and attempt a marathon on your first day. You start off small and slowly build up, day after day.
It’s not glamorous, it’s not ground breaking, it’s simply committing to small steps every day. And it’s the key to maintaining momentum, and ultimately, success.
The little daily steps can often feel so trivial that we end up skipping them or putting them off for another day, but when we commit to them, they begin adding up to large leaps towards our goals.
As Daniel Pink puts it, “I really think that we have given short shrift to the concept of small wins, both in terms of personal development and organizational performance. We want big, audacious goals, we want moon shots, we want giant transformations—and that’s cool sometimes. Sometimes that’s the approach. But most times, the more practical, realistic, and ultimately effective way is to go for a small win.”
Celebrate your successes
As we discussed in an earlier post, we are driven by internal motivators. Feeling satisfied, engaged, and proud of the work we accomplish is a key component in working to the best of our abilities and maintaining momentum. It can be so easy to focus only on the end goal that we lose sight of all the small accomplishments along the way and feel unnecessarily defeated.
Taking time to celebrate what you have accomplished rather than focusing only on what still needs to be done is hugely important in maintaining engagement and momentum.
Check in regularly
Without regular check-ins, it’s easy to lose control of a project and let things fall to the way side. Checking in regularly, either with yourself of with your team depending on the project, helps to keep everything on track. It allows everyone to be held accountable for their role in the project and helps to identify any shortcomings or areas that need more attention.
At Catalyst, we’ve set up a check-in schedule that helps to keep everyone focused and ensures that we’re all on the same page with our goals and projects. From our daily morning huddles to our quarterly mastermind sessions, we have a clear-cut schedule for check-ins that cover both the micro and the macro.
Change course if necessary
It’s hard to maintain momentum when things feel like they either aren’t working or aren’t necessary. What may have started off as a great idea may not be as exciting or effective in practice. When you’re working towards your goals, it’s important to reassess regularly to see if everything you’re working towards still makes sense/is worth the effort. You’ll be much more motivated to continue if you take honest stock of your progress and course correct anything that isn’t working.
Setting goals is the easy part, anyone can do that. But finding ways to maintain momentum and carrying out the sometimes tedious steps is what will allow you to actually realize them.
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The 9-5 Monday to Friday work week has been the undisputed norm for over a century, but according to many that needs to, and is, changing.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the importance of understanding what motivates your team in order to maximize both workplace results and overall morale. A shift to focusing on the internal motivating factors of employees has replaced the traditional carrot-and-stick approach to motivation and is changing the way we work.
In today’s post, we’re looking at another concept that has been disrupting the traditional workplace structure: ROWE, or a Results Only Work Environment. This concept was introduced by authors Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson in their book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It and takes things beyond the flexi schedules and compressed work weeks that have offered some flexibility to the work week in the last few decades.
Ressler and Thompson describe ROWE as an office environment in which everyone is “free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.” Employees can skip meetings, get to the office at 10 am, run errands in the middle of the afternoon, and just generally structure their day in any way they like. The strategy gives staff complete freedom over their day.
Of course, to have this system run smoothly, clear goals and outcomes need to be defined so everyone on the team knows exactly what they’re expected to accomplish. As the authors put it, 100% autonomy + 100% accountability = results.
Much like Daniel Pink’s focus on internal motivators vs. external, ROWE seeks to improve the workplace by understanding what truly motivates and inspires people. The idea is that the traditional work week model is disempowering because it treats employees with a certain degree of distrust. Under ROWE, the employees are treated as trusted adults that will get their work done without having to be monitored or stuck in an office for a set period of time.
At Catalyst, we’ve implemented the ROWE method with great success. We’ve adopted a system that includes regular team check-ins and goal setting, so we are all clear on what is being worked on and what everyone’s role is in making it happen (we’re big fans of Asana!), and from there, our entire team is free to work on these projects on their own schedule.
While complete flexibility may not be realistic for all workplace environments, aspects of ROWE can still be implemented. Remember, the key idea is to fuse accountability and autonomy, so finding ways to provide this to your employees can apply to almost all workplace situations.
Interested in learning more about ROWE? Check out the official website here.
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“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” – Daniel Pink
For decades, our model of motivation in the workforce has been the carrot and stick approach. Incentivising employees to push themselves at work either out of a desire for a reward or to avoid repercussions has been the de facto mode of motivation for so long that most of us don’t even stop to wonder if there could be another way.
In his bestselling book, Drive, author Daniel Pink argues that not only is there another way, but there is a much more effective way, and switching how we look at motivation is essential for creating a happy and successful workforce. Motivating your team, he says, comes down to understanding what truly drives them to do and be better.
In the old way of thinking, we might say, “We need to increase sales by 10% this quarter. Anyone who reaches or exceeds these numbers will receive a bonus, and anyone who drops below ‘x’ will be fired.” Classic carrot and stick, and sounds pretty motivating, doesn’t it?
Studies show, however, that the opposite is true. Creativity, motivation, and ultimately, results, are paralyzed under these kinds of incentives.
Why? Making more money or getting fired seem like pretty good reasons to achieve results, right?
In reality though, they don’t work because they are external motivations, and we thrive when we are motivated internally. A sense of pride in our work, the freedom to explore our creativity and reach our own personal best- these are the things that really drive us to reach for more.
Pink takes the example of Microsoft Encarta vs. Wikipedia. In the mid-’90s, Microsoft decided to invest heavily in creating an online encyclopedia, Encarta. They hired well-paid experts and dedicated significant time and money into the project, and at first glance, it should have been a sure success.
Around the same time, Wikipedia entered the scene, motivated not by any financial return but rather the simple enjoyment of creating the site. The carrot and stick approach would have us believe that Encarta would come out on top but as we all know it was Wikipedia, driven by the simple internal joy of creating for the sake of it, that went on to dominate.
Of course, there is no one size fits all when it comes to motivation and to truly inspire their team, managers should have at least a general knowledge of how each of their staff is motivated. Also, some positions really do respond well to external incentives. Algorithmic tasks, that is jobs that require a lot of repetition and formula following, can be motivated in the traditional way. Jobs that require more creativity and outside the box thinking, however, are generally motivated more by internal factors.
When it comes to getting the most out of your team, it’s essential to understand what is truly driving your employees. While the traditional approach has been to incentivize with external factors (bonuses, job loss, etc.), this is often not a beneficial factor in today’s job force. Instead, understanding the deeper, internal factors that drive your employees can result in creating a work environment that is happier, more motivated, and gets the job done well.
For more on what drives us, check out Pink’s TED Talk here.
In our next post, we’ll look at another key factor in motivating and empowering your team- creating a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE).
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In our last blog post, we talked about how renewable energy is rapidly changing the electrical wholesale landscape in Atlantic Canada. As we discussed, we’ve seen a recent boom in demand for renewables, particularly solar energy, and far from being a flash in the pan trend, this is set to become the new norm.
While solar energy has been available for decades, we’ve seen a recent increase in our part of the world thanks to new initiatives that are making the switch to solar energy more affordable for homeowners and community buildings.
In this post, we’re going to focus on the current initiatives available in Nova Scotia. If you’re a distributor or contractor, this is great information that you can pass on to potential customers who are considering the switch to solar.
Efficiency Nova Scotia’s SolarHomes Rebate Program
The introduction of Efficiency NS’s SolarHomes rebate program, which is available to homeowners throughout Nova Scotia, earlier this year was met with so much interest that they have already had to scale back to maintain funding. Despite the cutbacks, It continues to be a huge benefit for anyone interested in switching to solar.
The updated SolarHomes rebate offers $0.85/watt (down $0.15 from the original $1), up to 35% of the eligible system costs (excluding HST) or up to $8500, whichever is less.
To date, the program has almost tripled the number of net metering installs from the previous year. The program will be available until funding runs out (approximately 2000 homes), but the rebate will be scaled back incrementally in an effort to support as many houses as possible.
HRM’s Solar City Financing Program
Residents of HRM are also eligible for the city’s Solar City financing program. The program will pay for installation costs upfront at $0 down, and you’ll have 10 years to pay back the loan at 4.75% fixed interest.
Solar Electricity for Community Buildings
This program is a pilot project of the Department of Energy, which aims to support community buildings in making the switch to solar. Under the program, community buildings are able to generate electricity through their solar panels (up to 75kW of solar photovoltaic electricity) and sell it to their utility under a 20-year contract.
Applications for 2019 is set to open in June.
Nova Scotia Power’s Enhanced Net Metering Program
NSP’s Enhanced Net Metering Program provides protection for solar energy users during low energy production periods. Certain times of year (i.e. summer) are better than others for generating power, and the program balances out these surpluses and deficits. Residential and commercial properties will have a bi-directional electricity meter installed. When a system provides more energy than is required, it will flow into the grid for others to use. When it isn’t producing enough, it can pull energy from the grid.
Combined, these programs have made solar energy a viable option for homeowners and commercial buildings throughout Nova Scotia. The government’s commitment to these initiatives shows that Nova Scotia is ready to make a name for itself as a global player in the solar industry, and there has never been a better time for homeowners, building owners, contractors, and distributors to get on board.
If you’re not already, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn for more industry news and developments!
And for more information about any of these initiatives or any of the solar energy technologies we rep, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With some small exceptions, the electrical landscape has remained more or less the same over the last 50 years. Yes, there have been advances in technology and new product releases, but nothing truly groundbreaking has occurred, and both wholesalers and electrical contractors have been able to work with the same technology year after year.
Well, all that is rapidly changing as renewable energy has hit the scene. No longer a fringe technology for the wealthy elite, renewable energy sources have gone mainstream, and we’re at the point that both wholesalers and electrical contractors need to get on board or risk being seriously left behind.
A lucrative (and booming) business
The boom in renewables has seen a shift from traditional methods to a rapidly increasing demand for renewable products and installations. As we mentioned in our last post, government-backed programs and rebates are making the switch to solar energy easier and more affordable than ever in Atlantic Canada, and Nova Scotia’s SolarHomes program alone has created a massive jump in demand for installations. While photovoltaic installations are similar to other electrical work, they do still require separate training, so any contractor with this training is going to be in high demand.
Similarly, not all wholesalers have yet brought in solar technology, so those that do have a leg up in the game. Establishing yourself as a go-to source for renewable supplies will pay off both now and in the long run.
The electrification of everything
In order to meet our commitments to greenhouse gas reductions, the way we power our lives is changing. From powering our homes with solar, to running our communities on wind turbines, to driving electric cars, we are shifting into an era where our lives will be powered by the electrification of everything. Far from being a flash in the pan trend, this is fast becoming the new norm and our future will be one of almost complete electrification.
This new era will encompass a whole range of products and charging options, but in particular, manufacturers and contractors would be wise to focus on the following areas: solar energy systems (both residential and commercial), residential wiring and chargers for electrical cars, battery storage, and electric heating systems to replace traditional gas and oil fired systems.
How we can help
At Catalyst, we’ve made solar energy one of our top priorities for the year ahead and beyond. We believe passionately in the power of this industry both as a driver of our economy in Atlantic Canada and as a vital factor in protecting our environment.
If you’re a wholesaler who isn’t already carrying solar energy products or if you’ve seen the benefits and are ready to expand, now is the time. We carry a range of products from some of the top solar manufacturers on the product and can provide support and education on them for you and your entire team.
You can find our renewables line card here and more about the lines here.
Electrification affects a multitude of industries, including real estate, contracting, home building, and beyond. We offer free lunch and learns to share the ins and outs of the residential solar industry with your team- book one today by sending an email to us at email@example.com
To learn more about the product lines we carry and how we can help you and your business to take advantage of the electrification era, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last few years, solar energy has enjoyed significant growth throughout Atlantic Canada and is only expected to grow in popularity and adoption. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the solar movement, and at Catalyst Sales, we are making it easier than ever for electrical distributors and contractors to take part and benefit from it.
In addition to offering a full range of solar services, including custom proposals and designs, system quotations, site assessments, and more, we have also aligned with the top manufacturers for product and software in the solar industry.
The future is solar
There has never been a better time to enter the solar business, and there’s no end in sight for this thriving industry. A recent report put out by the Canadian Solar Industries Associate estimates that by 2030, Nova Scotia alone will support 1170 solar jobs. We’re fast approaching, if not at, the point where you either get in or get left behind.
What’s driving the solar energy boom? A number of factors, some of which we’ll dive into deeper in upcoming posts. But for now, we’ll highlight some of the main contributors.
- Efficiency Nova Scotia’s SolarHomes program, which offers a system rebate of $0.85 per watt.
- Halifax residents can also take advantage of HRM’s Solar City program, which offers financing on 100% of the system and install costs.
- The move towards electrification, which is seeing everything in our homes going electric, which will require a microgrid to support it.
- Our federal commitment to the environment. Canada has committed to a 30% reduction in our GHG emissions below our 2005 levels by 2030, and solar energy is a major factor in making this happen.
Keep reading to learn more about the products we rep and how they can benefit you and your customers.
One of the three biggest solar companies in the world by revenue, Canadian Solar is a global leading manufacturer of solar Photovoltaic Modules and a provider of solar energy solutions.
See more from Canadian Solar here.
photo: Canadian Solar
The industry-leader in grid-tied applications, Solar Edge provides smart inverters for every type of residential roof, DC optimizers, batteries and backup options, and a monitoring software that allows users to track their solar production.
See more from Solar Edge here.
Kinetic’s award-winning line of racking and mounting products are a favourite in the solar industry thanks to their innovative design, quality, and ease of installation. They offer a comprehensive range of rails, hardware, and mounts, including their own 100% watertight flashing system, K-Flash.
See more from Kinetic here.
IMO supplies control component technology including a range of market-leading TRUE DC solar isolators, AC Disconnect switches, a solar tracker and measurement controller, PV terminals, and a solar panel rapid shutdown solution. Their products have become a top choice for manufacturers and installers around the world thanks to their top quality and innovative technology.
See more from IMO here.
A division of Vynckier, Soltection offers a full line of rooftop PV transition boxes as well as traditional PV combiner boxes.
See more from Soltection here.
Service Wire Co.
The leader in Photovoltaic cable for DC cabling and bare copper for systems grounding.
See more about Service Wire here.
For more information on our solar technology and services, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at email@example.com
Catalyst has partnered with the top brands in the solar industry. We offer single source solutions for the electrical distributor and electrical contractor.
- Custom Proposals and Designs
- Full Bill of Material Generation
- System Quotations
- Rebate Calculations
- Payback Calculations – Cash vs Financing
- Single Line Diagram
- Solar Production Report
- Site Assessment
- Lamacoid Label Package
Send us your customer’s address and a power bill. We will send you a custom proposal.
Our system produces the most advanced and accurate designs in the world.
Top Quality Partners
We’ve aligned with the top residential partners for product and software.
Hassle Free Rebates and Financing
Our packaged solution handles back end financing and rebate information.
Straightforward Payback Calculations
Each proposal shows calculations for both cash and financed purchases.