What Makes An Engineering Professional?

December 28, 2010

Integrity. Motivation. Objectivity. Ability. Audacity.

Integrity. Motivation. Objectivity. Ability. AUDACITY!

Integrity is the foundation of our technical profession. Without credibility, how can we expect others to rely on our work?

Motivation gives us the passion to see the work through. The discipline to do the impossible difficult calculations, to find the answer in the data available. To complete the assignment. And verify our solution.

Objectivity is the greatest tool of our profession. Learning, understanding, and applying the facts to a situation that we have analyzed, and anticipating the consequences is our objective work. We rely on facts and data.

Ability is how we execute. We have served our apprenticeship, learned our profession. We have spent time with the books. We have learned to do the math, and understand which  mathematical relationships apply to the situations we are asked to solve. We have rolled up our sleeves. Used the tools. And learned from doing.

Audacity is the engineer’s greatest gift to mankind. How audacious- to seek a better way. How daring to invest time and effort to solve the difficult problem. How dare we tackle the greatest problems facing humanity- safe water systems, safe transportation systems, safe medical devices, utilities and technologies to make our world a better place.

 How dare we try to find a better way?

Photo credit: Thanks to the Audacious Engineers of NASA Apollo 8

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Three Ideas To Improve Employee Engagement

September 9, 2010

Thanks to Tim Waters via LinkedIn Goups for the great thought-starter Question!

 

Paying for performance or engagement?

1) Be sincere and respectful when employees engage you.

2) Determine their PASSION, then allow them more degrees of freedom and discretion in that area.

3) Join them in their world. Have huddles in their space. Be present where the action is.

As managers and executives it’s easy to listen to an employee’s ‘issue’ and think- “Well that’s about the most unimportant thing that I have heard and I’m not going to waste my time on it.” But in the employee’s world that issue or need  just might be the speed bump that keeps them from running the process profitably. Listen and respect what they have to say to you, if they have taken the time to share it with you, it is important to them.

How can we not trust someone with what we know is their passion? Letting someone operate at their highest and best use is win-win-win for all involved. It’s what the folks in the Pentagon refer to as a “Force Multiplier.”

Being a presence on the shop floor means that you have more and better information. And that you are approachable, that you care.

WARNING: If you are in our space and aren’t wearing the Personal Protective Equipment that you make us wear, you will lose our engagement because of the hypocrisy.  Show us that you are one of us by your actions, not just your words.

Employee engagement is powerful. What tips would you like to share to help us better engage with each other at work and in the shop?

 Cartoon

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