Thursday, June 02, 2005

Honest and unintimidated communication

NOT anonymous

2 June 2005

This is to thank you for the wonderful job you've done in providing a virtual community for LANL employees to deal with their justifiable concerns. I don't know you in person but am impressed by your ethics and courage. The whole LANL community has benefited from your work.

The argument has been made that such a forum for frank discussion by LANL employees is injurious to the Lab's future, i.e. that Congress or the DOE will interpret the blog as whining or ungratefulness on the part of the employees, who would then be punished. The corollary is that employees should stay quiet and should instead trust their managers, politicians, etc to look after them.

Golly, does anyone really feel that his options in this great free country of ours are so limited that he would voluntarily cede his right to lawful dissent? I think that a long-term employment relationship, like a marriage, does best with honest and unintimidated communication. In the long run, LANL will be stronger for having real 2-way communication. The best team players are volunteers who are self-motivated. LANL would be weaker for having one-way, push-down diktats and an intimidated, resentful workforce.

Thanks again for your great work fostering real communication.

Abe Jacobson (retiring 1 July from LANL)
Earth and Space Sciences Dept.
University of Washington

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