Director’s Message: Living our core values boosts our potential
I’m extremely proud of the work we do here at Argonne — leading in discovery science, innovating with advanced technology, expanding into new frontiers and contributing to U.S. prosperity and security. Without a doubt, Argonne has built its reputation on solving grand challenges that impact our citizens, our country and the world. I thank each of you for bringing a unique combination of skills, experience and commitment to your Argonne job.
At the all-hands meeting on July 24, I introduced a set of core values — Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork — that can boost our potential. Let’s use our core values to guide us in doing even more — together. When we take responsibility for each other’s safety, value each other’s diverse perspectives and act respectfully, we empower everyone to succeed. When we are honest with one another and commit to working inclusively and collaboratively, we create an environment where we can all set, support and reach ambitious goals. By setting high standards for how we treat others and how we expect to be treated, we will develop a stronger culture of trust to fuel success.
Thank you to all who have shared feedback on the core values. One of our colleagues commented that they are “important and overdue,” another that they “now must be reiterated and part of Argonne for years to come and not just a ‘flavor of the month.’” Expect our core values to last; they’ll become a permanent touchstone of our culture. Another colleague — reacting to a comment I made during the all-hands meeting — said that although she agreed that treating each other with respect does mean “being nice,” we need not stifle debate. “I would offer that healthy discussions including differing opinions and disagreements can be respectful and are good for our work, to challenge the way we do business.” Look for ongoing opportunities for conversation about how we can demonstrate our values and promote them now and in the future.
Part of my personal commitment to respect and teamwork is to find as many opportunities as I can to listen to employees throughout the laboratory — to hear your thoughts on the choices we make, the work we do and how we go about protecting one another’s safety and well-being. Hearing different perspectives enables me to grow as a laboratory leader. Please add your comments to the Core Values Conversation, or join me at the next “Conversation with Kearns” on Tuesday, Aug.14, at 9 a.m. in the Building 446 Auditorium.
I thank each of you for your commitment to working together to create a stronger culture of trust and teamwork at Argonne — an environment I believe will ultimately help us increase the positive impact we have on the world. It is a privilege to lead this laboratory.