How do you gain access to the influencers and decision-makers when approaching a new organization with an efficiency project? I like to say, “Use the power of 12.” Why 12? Because 12 is the biggest number I can think of that's a single syllable. It could be the power of 37 for all I know, but bottom line, it’s not the power of one.
When someone invites you into the organization or you encounter someone in the organization and you ask that person what he or she needs in terms of energy efficiency, that individual’s response is not necessarily the best barometer of what the entire organization needs.
When you’re doing a project with a large organization, you’re going to be working with many different people. They’ll have different personalities, different organizational imperatives, and different challenges they need to face every day. How your project impacts those goals, wishes, dreams, and desires may be totally different depending on who in the organization is making the decisions and who will be giving you direction to provide a solution that will alleviate their pain.
In the context of large organizations, forget the “Power of One” and think bigger. Zoom out and look at the organization as a whole. Determine who the different players might be, how they fit into the decision-making chain, and then map their relationships to determine the most reliable path to project approval.