An Abt colleague asked me the following three questions:
1) Why would I want to be on the EAC?
2) What makes this [EAC] different from any other well meaning, but ineffective committee?
3) Is the management so out of touch with the company that it needs to form a committee to report to it or is it just another bone from uncaring bean counters?
I open this question to all candidates. I'll begin:
1) I am nominating myself because I would like to actually see this council work (literally and figuratively). People have to believe that it will work. The council needs to lead. I maintain a healthy skepticism about many things in our world and I believe EAC will work if the appropriate effort is expended. This committee needs to be diverse in many ways and possess a collective goal-oriented ethic.
2) It is important for representatives to remember who they have been elected to represent. They are the voice of many. We have seen far too often, representative bodies (congress, for example) misrepresent their constitutes or only represent especially vocal special interests. I see it as my duty to move beyond dead-end, wheel-spinning committee work.
We need to make an effort to re-engage the employees of this company. The EAC representative - and I will do this if elected - must make an effort to meet and discuss concerns with each and every employee in their district. Surveys are great but one-on-one interactions provide the most robust data. Surely, some people will not want to participate, and we cannot force this, but it is our duty to make an earnest attempt to thoughtfully invigorate our telecommuting employees and the staff of the DC and Bethesda offices.
3) I've seen people roll their eyes and voice that we really don't need more committees. People sometimes take the time to complain, but not the time to learn or change. We need to make Abt more than just a place to work. I envision Abt as an intellectually stimulating, cross-pollinating, hotbed of pragmatic and progressive thought - the kind of place that is attractive to employee candidates and to potential clients. I've felt that the company has always had pockets of community, but we need to truly become more inclusive.
People see "management" as a sort of all-knowing (or un-knowing), unapproachable enigma. We are all people and we need to engage management as people first - not as a group that is fundamentally different. We are all working toward the same goals. As employee-owners of Abt, we must synthesize our attitudes and our behaviors as such. Participation, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is essential. We need to remain pragmatic while striving for higher goals.