040: Why Communication Comes First with George Hawkins

George Hawkins

George Hawkins is the Harvard educated Founder of Moonshot LLC and just recently, Moonshot Partners, a Professor of Practice at American University and former head of DC Water. He facilitated the transformation of DC Water and Sewer Authority to DC Water and oversaw taking DC Water from some very challenging times to the national and international reputation it now enjoys. George wants to help other enterprises tell their story, create replicable roadmaps and reach their dreams.

Top Takeaways:

As water nerds passionate about communication, obviously, our chat with George Hawkins is ripe with takeaways:

  • The incredible importance of communication to our industry, however, it’s always a treat to hear that perspective from someone who is on the front lines of water technology and financing the way that George is.
  • We talk about the importance of internal communication and how you have to begin on the inside to ever hope to have an effective external communication strategy. Internally this means not only writing down your mission, vision, and values but living them as an organization and ensuring your entire team hears them used regularly and sees them in action.
  • We also talk about the role of communication in earning trust with the communities we serve.

Show Notes:

[4:15] Life after DC Water: how entrepreneurial life has treated George Hawkins this past year.

[8:21] George shares how his perspective of the industry has changed given his new role in it this past year.

[12:46] George gives us examples from his experiences that made him an advocate for communication in the water industry.

[22:23] In his own words: advice on how water educators and communicators can win over upper management.

[28:56] Why it’s so important for an organization, especially in the water industry, to not only believe in the mission but more importantly, act on it.

[35:58] George shares how can utilities earn back their communities trust, given the fact that people are sort of wary, of us but we need their trust to move forward with new infrastructure and technology.

[44:06] Hear George’s take on why customer service is so vital to utilities today, especially related to adopting new technology and addressing funding needs.

[57:00] With all he has seen and been introduced to, hear what has THE George Hawkins the most excited about the future of water.

[1:05:12]  George speaks directly to all you men and women in the field, braving all conditions, and working tirelessly in a thankless job. He shares with you why what you do matters so much.


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The Alliance for Water Efficiency is a non-profit organization and North America’s authoritative resource for water efficiency. Their mission is to promote the efficient use of water to achieve more resilient communities, businesses, and ecosystems.

  • The AWE network brings together more than 450 member organizations, including water providers, business leaders, government agencies, non-profits, academic institutions, and associations.
  • AWE advances sustainable water use in partnership with its members through research, advocacy, resources, and education.
  • AWE gives communities the tools and training to manage water resources sustainably, helps build the market for tomorrow’s technologies and services, and partners to advocate, educate, and legislate.

Learn more and join the network by visiting www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org or emailing membership@a4we.org.

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  1. Karen Menard on 01/29/2019 at 2:18 PM

    This may have been my favorite so far. Very inspirational, very relevant. I’m registered for Catalyst! Great job, ladies.

  2. […] a recent podcast interview, water industry thought leader, George Hawkins spoke about the importance of communication when it […]

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