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From the Director: "Pause" 2010

(Photo - Persis Drell)
(Photo by Harvey Lynch.)

In August, all of us at SLAC, in our different work groups, took time out to reflect on both successes and ways to improve the conduct of our operations and communication throughout the lab. Work groups across the lab identified ways to improve things under their control, and also identified things that the directorate and lab as a whole should address. The associate laboratory directors and I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful consideration of issues and solutions that will ultimately support us all in delivering on our mission.

We in the senior management heard you. Just as you are addressing the things within your control as a work group and directorate, senior leadership is committed to addressing the most significant lab-wide issues that were raised. The ALDs took the critical issues collected by each directorate and identified a set of common themes, then assigned a responsible manager and ALD sponsor to each one. You can see this list of critical issues in the Operations Directorate SLACSpace, under Pause Input. For each issue there is a date by which the issue must be evaluated and a plan to address it provided. We will track the status of the issues at this same Web site. In the months to come, you will be able to see how we are making progress.

By far the biggest set of issues falls under the category of communication. This keeps coming up and it is vitally important. SLAC is on the move. SLAC is changing. And we are not doing a good enough job of keeping everyone on board as we move forward. Why is this so important? Because we are not going to stop moving and we are not going to stop changing. We are not going to slow down. So we have to figure out how to communicate better so that the whole laboratory can understand what we are doing and why, be aligned, and support the changes that are happening.

We are all accountable to each other for furthering the mission of SLAC. This is a contact sport! This includes looking hard at what we do and how we do it with an eye to continuous improvement. These "Pause" items are helping us do just that. Thank you for your input and I look forward to the improvements that will result!

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, October 29, 2010