- Author: Wendy Powers
I mentioned that I am getting ready to go on vacation. Because of my pending absence, my calendar is packed this week and I have many things that must be completed well before the business day starts or long into the evening. But, there's an opportunity in this in that if the pace keeps up, I am guaranteed good sleep on my flight to vacationland.
During Program Council this week we spent much of our time discussing our vision of community and how reimagining community could better position us to have a positive impact on every Californian. The topic is uncomfortable at times however, I find it energizing when I view the conversation through the lens of incredible ‘opportunity' rather than the lens of ‘giving something up'. Members of PC helped me stay focused on the opportunity and recognize that we can choose to be an agile organization because we have amazing, talented people everywhere throughout the division. These people, all of us, can choose to be agile. Imagine the possibilities if we all chose to see the opportunity and pivot in a direction that guides to greater impact – the results would be truly remarkable! The conversation left me tired, but that, too, contributes to my opportunity for good sleep later this week.
The conversations reminded me of a TED talk I had listened to some time ago. The speaker said, “If you get the environment right, every one of us has the capacity to achieve remarkable things”. I completely buy into this idea, particularly after 3 years of getting to know the people that are UC ANR. The speaker went on to talk about the elements that get an organization or a marine troop past the danger: trust and cooperation. At one point in the PC discussion we questioned ‘how do we make this happen' and, not surprisingly, that's where we get a bit stuck. Building trust has its own set of challenges and efforts needed. Cooperation is a different story; we often cooperate on projects but that cooperation is contingent on a shared vision or goals. In a large organization with many moving parts and layers upon layers of complexity, while (I hope) we all want to achieve that big goal of improving life for every Californian, I suspect it is difficult for everyone to see the picture from the same angle. As a result, like a hologram, people see very different things making even what one considers ‘danger' inconsistent. I need to think more about this.
Two busy days to go this week but already I have been 1) challenged by something, and 2) learned something. Now I need to focus on 3) helping someone in order to complete my checklist. Surely there's an opportunity somewhere. Perhaps at Open Office that starts in 20 minutes.