From the Editor/ 2015, What good can we do?
January 8, 2015
Hope that you all had a great time over the holidays. They seem to go by faster every year, all the more reason to make sure that we enjoy every moment.
Now, to get the year started, let’s continue the discussion of just what we would like our WSJ Society to be going forward.
The short brainstorm session at the reunion revealed some of your interests. They included: sharing experiences to help others in transition, in-career or to retirement; mentor relationships with current employees; activities for fun and contribution to community, joint activities involving retirees and current employees; sharing skill sets and interests to expand the resources available to each of us. That’s a start, but we need to hear from far more of you.
The Board addressed the challenge at its December meeting. They asked me to put together a draft document for everyone to offer comment. I’ve been reluctant to do that. It’s far more important to get your ideas. You’ve heard a lot from me already. I do try to keep George Briggs’ observation in mind when I get going . . . his observation was that “Jude lives in a Mary Poppins’ world.” I don’t entirely disagree with that. I liked the movie and do head out to left field at times. While I enjoy Mary’s world, I also recognize that I need to listen to others to make sure that I’m heading in a good direction.
So, I’m here to ask for your help. I’ll draft a statement, but I won’t act on it until it’s improved by your thoughts. The Board meets quarterly, but you can comment here anytime. We can carry on an open discussion in the Group Open Forum, or just send me notes via the Help button — no sign-in required for that. You don’t even have to be a member. But nothing can happen without your input.
One of my most enjoyable projects at Johnson Controls was the creation of The Advisor. Dick Bobincheck and then Jim Smith led the project. My role is best described as venture capitalist. With very limited resources, the team was able to create a system allowing connection for everyone in the Controls Group, worldwide. Today it would be described as Web 2.0, the interactive, collaborative internet. Only we had it as the rest of the world was learning about Web 1.0. Its real power was making connections possible, subject matter experts to anyone in need. It was great. My image was to allow a tech in an equipment room, late Friday night, mid-winter, get access to the information needed to solve the customer’s problem and get home. With the WSJ Society I’m thinking about all the fantastic people who are alums of Johnson Controls and the good they could do.
There was a lot of opinion expressed and a lot of listening going on in creating Advisor. My hope is that we generate that kind of exchange in assessing the possibilities for the WSJ Society. What do you think?
Eager to hear from you,