Be the light: Up for change

A new ad campaign is being developed by Basin Electric with the line “Be the light.” The ads show how Basin Electric and its member cooperatives can be the light in communities and homes like only a cooperative can.

You may have seen the story in the March/April 2016 Basin Today Magazine, Be the Light: How Basin Electric employees shine in their work. In addition, we’re starting a blog feature here, by the same name.

Jason Krebsbach

Jason Krebsbach came to Basin Electric about a year ago and learned much of the workload he would get right away would be to help guide the Headquarters expansion project.

Having worked at both large and small architectural firms in Minnesota and North Dakota throughout his career, Krebsbach had a good idea what to expect. “In this area, architectural firms take work doing anything and everything, from church projects to water treatment plants,” he says. “When you’re working on a church, it’s almost like building a house. But instead of needing to please a family, you need to find a way to please a congregation of 300 people. This Headquarters project is not too different.”

Krebsbach says the current Headquarters building has been a good reflection of Basin Electric and its mission. “From an architect’s perspective, this is a very humble, practical building and it has made sense for Basin Electric for many years,” he says. “Basin Electric does what it does well and efficiently. We do not try to be flashy about it.”

Krebsbach’s work at Basin Electric focuses on the interior workspace, which can be touchy. “I’ve only been here a year, and I understand we’re trying to change the way some people have worked for 30 years in some cases. That can be difficult. It comes down to establishing trust with people,” he says. “So far I’ve gotten the best traction when I’ve been able to visit with people one-on-one and answer their questions.”

The change he mentions is that new workspaces are open concept, meaning no more office walls and doors. “We have people on our steering committee who started Day 1 saying, ‘No, I will not give up my office,’ to doing a full-180, after they’ve learned all the benefits of the open concept space,” he says.

Krebsbach feels pride when he’s able to explain the concept well enough for people to understand, and even change their mind about the changes. “I heard a quote once that I kind of made my mantra. George Bernard Shaw said, ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,’” he says. “I want people to understand this change is an investment in our workforce and our future. This change will pay dividends over time.”

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