Maggie Kelley Riggins of Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) has a big job. She leads SEEA’s building strategy around programs and policy for energy efficiency of buildings throughout the Southeast. This requires engaging with a range of partners, including policymakers, utilities, and service providers. New to her job, she was looking for guidance to become a more powerful and authentic leader.
“With Strelo I got a whole set of concrete approaches – tools and lenses – for thinking about the immediate problems as opportunities for a solution: what really is the change that I’m seeking, not just the problem that I’m solving.”
Maggie Kelley Riggins
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Built Environment Project Manager
An aha moment to remember
Strelo co-founder Joanne Chu had worked with SEEA for many years, both as a consultant and coach. For this engagement, SEEA was interested in organizational change consulting, leadership development training for new staff, and investing in Kelley Riggins’ potential as a rapidly rising young leader. Through the coaching experience, Kelley Riggins experienced an aha moment: “When I shifted from an ‘I to We’ approach to an ‘I to All’ mindset, it changed the game.”
Kelley Riggins describes her growth as moving from using a self-centric problem-solving stance to taking a more holistic approach. “I loved this transition to seeing the entire universe of the problem, not just my universe of what the problem looks like,” she says. “I adopted a new approach: When you recognize a problem that can’t be solved on your own, enlist others with different perspectives and expertise to work toward common goals.”
One of the many tools Strelo brought to SEEA was its approach for considering and integrating stakeholders. Strelo believes that strategically considering stakeholders up front is a critical step in sustainable problem-solving. This step in the change process is a simple concept that is often dismissed as a “nice to have.” Kelley Riggins would disagree. “The stakeholder analysis process helped me expand our focus. It streamlined how to map out our key players — who they are, what they care about, and how they can contribute to the problem-solving effort.”
Opportunities for solutions
For SEEA, Strelo’s approach was both real-time coaching and long-term strategies to ensure Kelley Riggins would be a more confident and connected leader. “Often with consultants, you end up with cut-and-dry checklists that are helpful but not particularly valuable. With Strelo I got a whole set of concrete approaches — tools and lenses — for thinking about the immediate problems as opportunities for a solution: what’s really the change that I’m seeking, not just the problem that I’m solving.”
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to optimize the use and impact of energy to enhance the quality of life in the Southeast. As one of six regional energy efficiency organizations, SEEA is part of a national network dedicated to leveraging energy efficiency for the benefit of all citizens. These six organizations collaborate extensively with one another and the U.S. Department of Energy to benefit utilities, businesses, consumers, and state and local governments throughout the United States.