Bradley C Love

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Inclusive, Productive, Accountable

Published on July 6, 2017, by Bradley C. Love — Comments

Slogans can prove hollow or can invite one to reflect on core values. Aiming for the latter, our new lab motto is Inclusive, Productive, Accountable (IPA). We aim for a community where everyone is hoppy, I mean happy, no matter their drink of choice. In seriousness, for the IPA motto to have a positive effect, what it concretely means needs to be clear.

Inclusiveness

This amounts to not forming cliques that exclude others within lab (even inadvertently). The worst case scenario is creating virtual labs within the lab. Unfortunately, like high school students, this is what people in a workplace will naturally gravitate towards when they don’t take care.

What does this mean concretely? It means a lot, but here are some concrete examples for guidance:

(1) Use the lab email list (not a personal email list) to advertise events so as to not exclude people.

(2) Use the lab calendar to try to schedule these events when people are around where possible.

(3) If you are going somewhere with a bunch of people from lab (e.g., a talk, drinks, lunch), wonder why you are not inviting everyone. I am not saying that people can’t have favourites in lab to spend time with, but one should wonder when half the lab is somewhere and there was no group invite. This is not to say that people are obligated to join group events, but everyone should always feel welcomed to do so and in the loop.

(4) Don’t refer to anything as a lab event unless everyone in lab was invited with sufficient notice and there is some decent probability the majority of people would have an interest in attending.

That’s just a sample of what is a nebulous concept — welcoming and including everyone in lab such that there is one lab, not several factions.

Productivity

Knowing what the ultimate goal is and efficiently (in time and other resources) working toward it. This concept requires more unpacking, but notice productivity is more than “doing a lot of stuff” and working endless hours. Productivity requires alignment with lab goals and outputs.

Accountability

Taking responsibility for what falls within your realm; Being straightforward when you fall short (e.g., admit mistakes and seek to correct) as opposed to shifting blame; Doing what you say (agreed) you would do, which amounts to being trustworthy; Accepting consequences of one’s actions (or lack thereof).

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