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SOFTWARE (NON-INTERNET/MOBILE) | Green/Environmental Software
opower.com

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Founded Year

2007

Stage

Acq - P2P | Acquired

Total Raised

$65.54M

Valuation

$0000 

Revenue

$0000 

About OPOWER

OPOWER is an energy efficiency and Smart Grid software company. OPower has developed a SaaS customer engagement platform that uses data analytics to help electric and gas utilities evaluate a household's energy usage patterns, without the need for hardware to be installed inside the home.

OPOWER Headquarter Location

1515 N. Courthouse Road 8th Floor

Arlington, Virginia, 22201,

United States

703-778-4544

Latest OPOWER News

How You Influence Others Shows Them How You Think

Jan 12, 2022

Photo by J Venerosy on Unsplash Last month, I introduced the idea of iceberg thinking versus pyramid thinking as a way to help leaders focus on how to use open-minded thinking to reduce stress. Iceberg thinkers lean into their neurotic tendencies, acting out of distress. They are highly concerned about the perceptions of others and often act out of fear, shame or dysregulation as a result. Pyramid thinkers are open-minded, focusing on opportunities and insight. They aren’t falsely positive; instead, they are open to new experiences, mindfully aware of themselves and the impacts they have on others, and empathetic to different perspectives. Pyramid thinkers are innovative leaders who outperform iceberg thinkers that aim to maintain control. Over a decade ago, I briefly worked at Opower, a software company that uses Arizona State University professor emeritus Robert Cialdini’s work on social norms to help individuals reduce energy consumption. (Opower is now part of Oracle). In his book Influence: Science and Practice , Cialdini outlines six principles that people use to influence the behavior of others. Of these six, three are clearly iceberg motivators, aimed at controlling others: authority, social proof, and scarcity. Three are pyramid motivators, aimed at empowering others: commitment and consistency, liking, and autonomy. As you think about helping your team differently in 2022, let’s explore those differences so you can decide how you want to influence your team. Iceberg Influencers Authority The first (and most obvious) approach to influence is authority: we do what people tell us to do when we believe they have power over us. Another word for that? Bullying. Authority constrains our autonomy, which creates stress and leads to dysregulation in large groups of people. Think about it: If you are asked to do something by your boss and you’re not sure how to do it, you get scared and try to figure it out on you own first so you don’t look foolish. In other words, pressure from an authority figure adds stress to our systems, so that our brains are now working on two projects: re-regulating our dysregulated minds and bodies ,  and ensuring our ability to do the work we are being asked to do. Unfortunately, we often forget to re-regulate and focus on the work instead, which produces panicked results. For that reason, I associate authority with fear. Social Proof Social norms define what will be shamed by telling us how to conform. They are highly influential, as proven by the work of Bob Cialdini and his colleague Professor Wes Schultz, both advisors to Opower in my time there. The Opower business model was built off doorhanger research conducted by Shultz that showed that shaming people into reducing their energy consumption (by telling them that people like them used less energy than they did) was more effective at reducing energy consumption than messages related to financial savings or environmental concerns. The approach does drive short-term results, but as fatigue sets in and new electronics are released that require more power, consumers start to disregard their neighbors’ activities in favor of their own–unless they are super savers driven by something other than the shame of their neighbors, like loss aversion to the extra money they don’t have. Scarcity We want what we cannot have. Scarce information is any information that is held back or compartmentalized, so people who might benefit from it cannot have it. It uses fear to control and (sometimes) sabotage – preventing others from doing what is in their best interest because information has been withheld. It can also show up as gossip when scarcity doesn’t create the space for communication: what do you know that I don’t. Fear (including FOMO, the fear of missing out, that creates too many meetings with too many people afraid of missing the scarce bits of information) gets in the way of efficiency, collaboration, and growth. The iceberg of authority, social proof, and scarcity is no different from the iceberg of dysregulation, shame, and fear that I introduced last month. Pyramid Influencers Now, for the good news: There are three influences that operate using the same principles as the pyramid, so we can achieve the same goals in a more positive and productive way. Commitment and consistency Simply put, do what you say you are going to do. It’s the antithesis of authority because it enables empowerment. Instead of telling a team member what to do, servant leaders help team members determine (often as a team) what they can do. That becomes their commitment to the team. The consistency with which they put effort in toward that goal enables them to achieve it and find help along the way. With commitment and consistency, we gain new insights. Performance and development, therefore, become the responsibility of the individual, not their manager. So, instead of controlling the work in an iceberg, leaders engage their followers to commit to something that pushes them to their performance limits and then consistently supports and encourages them while they strive to achieve their goals and develop new insights along the way. Liking Liking means that we do things simply because we like someone; not because we think we have to fit in with their ways, like social proof. I get my friend a coffee while I am getting one for myself because I like him. I don’t do it because it’s a social norm (like interns and secretaries once did) or because I expect him to bring me a coffee in return (reciprocity, discussed next). Not unlike what Dale Carnegie might say , true liking comes from being empathetic and providing support; seeing and hearing each other and collaborating. It reduces stress and increases trust by releasing oxytocin, the neurochemical that facilitates bonding. The results: better communication and enhanced performance. As the adage goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Reciprocity Reciprocity is about equity; noticing the give and take. It creates opportunities for sharing and balance, making it the antithesis of scarcity, where information is kept secret to control. Reciprocity creates transparency. Through transparency, leaders build trust. With trust, they earn respect. In an organization of reciprocity, team members balance the load and help each other out, which is not unlike the Agile development principles that have become so popular in corporations today. It’s through those give-and-take moments that the team becomes more autonomous, with the wisdom and courage to achieve their goals. The Power of the Pyramid Striving for pyramid thinking is about changing the way you lead; looking to build people up instead of freezing them in place. It’s using your strengths to support, instead of control. Which may mean you have to let go of your iceberg in order to help your team members do the same. When you embrace the power of the pyramid, stress levels go down and productivity goes up. Isn’t that what all of us are looking for these days? Follow me on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn . Check out my  website .

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OPOWER Patents

OPOWER has filed 54 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Energy conservation
  • Business intelligence
  • Cocaine
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

12/28/2015

11/30/2021

Energy conservation, Continuous distributions, Computer telephony integration, Payment systems, Energy economics

Grant

Application Date

12/28/2015

Grant Date

11/30/2021

Title

Related Topics

Energy conservation, Continuous distributions, Computer telephony integration, Payment systems, Energy economics

Status

Grant

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