I just hit the 6-month mark in my tenure as CEO of JCHE. I could go on and on about feeling honored, privileged, proud and the like. But I’m reflecting at the moment of how long a process it is to build trust within the organization.
I believe that truly collaborative working relationships throughout the entire agency are the only way to advance our organization’s agenda. Those can only happen with trust based on deep mutual respect. I know one can’t mandate this because it has to derive organically from people having opportunities to understand what each other does and why they approach it as they do.
I’m trying to model that behavior. I hope that it resonates with every member of the JCHE team, but I’ll see how much that’s true over time.
I’m also trying to engage the creativity and accumulated wisdom of everyone at JCHE. At our last two all-staff meetings, we engaged in joint identification of steps we could take to make JCHE the ideal workplace. First we had people brainstorm the objectives for an ideal workplace. We took the top six vote getters amongst those goals and asked groups to delineate steps we could take to achieve them. Now we’re putting those suggestions into place. We’ll need to evaluate the effectiveness of each measure in a constant attempt to be a learning organization.
We’re also investing in skills of team members. Thanks to an active training task force, we’ve begun a series of training sessions. One significant series is on “how to run a meeting” which might seem mundane but is deeply complex if done correctly. It’s surfaced up lots of issues about communication and respect. Hopefully, we use this lever to pry open up the door to highly conscious efforts to use every opportunity to treat each other with the kind of respect that leads to trust. I’ll keep you posted.
Amy Schectman, JCHE President & CEO