our employee-led research and development group guides new ideas into continuous improvements
Incubator Podcast featuring Ssusan Forte O'Neill and Steven Peterson
Director of the Incubator Program, Ssusan Forte O'Neill, and Engineering Group Leader and Electrical Engineer, Steven Peterson chat about the origins and results of the P2S Incubator. Listen to gain deeper insight into this groundbreaking program, which became a catalyst for success, original thinking, and employee development throughout the company. The lessons of the Incubator can be applied to almost any profession and help contribute to your own growth and success.
What is the Incubator?
The P2S Incubator is a means of harvesting the best ideas from staff and developing them into services and processes that improve the company and deliver better services to our clients.
Our Incubator develops R&D-type projects by setting up internal champions to guide initiatives. The Incubator gives us a distinct competitive advantage as a firm-wide platform where staff members develop ideas and hone their entrepreneurship.
Company & Individual Growth
Maintaining 20% year-over-year growth is difficult; the incubator does a tremendous job of helping us to keep up with that growth. But it's not just company growth; individuals participating in the incubator also grow professionally.
Organizational Processes & Client Satisfaction
Specific initiatives, like design standards updates, detail libraries and specifications, helped our update cycle and formalized how updates are organized for a growing population of employees.
Services Expansion & Improvement
The Incubator was set up to develop internal and external improvements. We try to foresee services that the client may want—to anticipate their future needs. It typically takes 6-12 months to take an idea to launch.
Structure & Process
There are two sub-teams within the Incubator. The Advisory Board has experienced staff that can help drive programs and provide focus. The Development Team is where most of the work is done on investigating and drafting business plans for initiatives.
Idea Presented and Evaluated
The role of the Advisory Board is to set the agenda for the Incubator. They release problem statements and consider the impact that ideas could have. They work directly with Dev Team members to take ideas and initiatives and develop them into a final product. After initial brainstorming meetings, they gather initial feedback to continue developing the idea and typically have a one-month evaluation period to consider whether any particular idea is ready for development or if it’s something to look at again in the future.
Each Incubator Session = 1 Year
Monthly Team Meetings
Set Agenda / Consider Idea Impact
Brainstorm Idea Applications
Gather Feedback / Evaluate Proposals
Collaborate to Develop Final Initiative
The Dev Team is where ideas become new service lines and efficiencies. The Dev Team nurtures new ideas and focuses on a wide range of topics, including projects related to improving internal efficiency and workflow and company culture. They also evaluate new technologies to see if they are ready for deployment or if they need to be reevaluated in the future. If the team decides a technology is ready for adoption, they think about ways to utilize it to launch new services, improve our organization, and make our solutions for clients even better.
Idea graduates to a new innovation, service or improvement
Since co-founding P2S over 32 years ago, Kent Peterson has never looked back. Kent and his brother Kevin, have guided P2S from a small start-up into one of Southern California's premier engineering, commissioning and construction management firms. As Vice President and COO, Kent provides technical leadership for the team and maintains the quality of P2S services. His award-winning design experience includes high-performance green buildings, ultra-efficient central plants, and innovative control strategies. His mission is not only to maintain the success of P2S but to redefine what's possible in the building and infrastructure industries.
Kent is a renowned sustainability and energy efficiency expert who has authored numerous papers and journal articles, presented to national governments, and helped develop a common definition for Zero Energy Buildings. He's an ASHRAE Distinguished Fellow who has served as President of the organization and chaired over 20 committees. In ASHRAE, Kent also serves on the Task Force for Building Decarbonization, which was formed in Spring 2021 and is chair of the Building Decarbonization Position Document Committee.
Kent is on the Federal Green Building Advisory Committee and was also appointed co-chair of that body's new Federal Building Decarbonization Task Group in January 2022. He also serves as the Chair of the CSU Mechanical Review Board and is influential in the Long Beach area business community. He served as Chairman of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce from 2017 to 2018.