Project Management

The Powah of Oppahtunities

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Growing up in New England as we have, we know and love our New England accent.  To us, in fact, it's not an accent.  All of the rest of you have an accent, we speak, well, we speak  noahmahlly.

We always get a kick out of those movies in which actahs (actors) from out of our region try to "do" the New England accent.  They get it horribly wrong.  When they try to play, for example, President John F. Kennedy, to us they may as well be speaking in Tamil.  It's just not proppah (proper).

Well, now you have the chance to hear the accent in all of its glory because Boston native, UMass-Boston alum, and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Gina McCarthy (pronounced "m'cahh-thy") yesterday addressed the nation on the proposed limits to power plants to reduce cahhbin (carbon) generation.

Below is the video.  You don't have to watch the whole thing but we want to draw your attention to 3:52, where she makes an errah (error).  At least, she misuses a project management term if compared to the way we are told we are supposed to use it by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).

At that point in the video - wait for it, wait for it, THERE - she says, "we'll turn the risks of climate into business opportunity".

We know as practicing PMs that risks can be positive or negative.  Positive risks are opportunities and negative risks are threats.  Therefoah (therefore) she should have said, "we'll turn the threats of climate ito business opporutnity". 

A small sticking point, perhaps but one which has been a calling card for us for 5 years.  In our book, Green Project Management, the very cover makes this point by showing a tree that yields paper money.  The concept of a triple - or really at least quadruple - bottom line is one we've blogged about as well for years, and indeed is the name of the blog you're readning now - People, Planet, Profits & Projects.  We assert that there is a benefit to long-term thinking that means it pays off to consider social and environmental concerns and not only financial considerations - and that this 'extra' effort in long-term thinking is not wasted, often coming back around to provide short-term financial gain.

In McCarthy's reference we can also see the short term opportunities in the form of new projects to reduce carbon from power plants and to move effort to renewable energy - all of which will require a crop of sustainability-aware project managers.

By staying tuned to this blog and an upcoming book (yes, we finally have a follow-up book to Green Project Management, more about that later) you can be part of that crop and you can help gain yourself some powah!

Posted by Richard Maltzman on: June 03, 2014 11:09 AM | Permalink

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