Welcome/Keynote 1: The 21st Century Colleague
Gerry A. Lanham, PE
Former President of KBD/Technic, Inc. (Consulting Division of CECO Environmental, Inc.) with over 58 years’ experience in the design and installation of dust control and industrial ventilation systems and energy management and analysis projects in the United States and internationally.
We do not start our careers thinking of becoming a colleague. Our mythical left-brain personalities conjure up ideas of technical accomplishments and discoveries and the idea of sharing or collaborating is not in our nature. But in reality, as our lives evolve and our experiences are accumulated, you find that most of your professional satisfaction will come from the times spent in the company of your peers. The shared experiences enrich our own knowledge, making us even more productive and accomplished.
Today in our post-pandemic world of budget cuts, closing offices and zoom calls, it is becoming more difficult to build professional relationships and the resulting synergy and personal feelings of accomplishment. Certainly, there are still experiences in the field and the laboratory where time can be spent together but technical offices are becoming more isolated and the time saving advantages to the worker (and the company cost savings) are documented.
So how does someone today garner the rewards of the past when teams travelled together on trains and an engineer could walk down the hall for some quick advice on a problem? There are ways and there are principles that have existed from the last century that still apply. But first thing required is the desire to be a colleague. This implies collaborating and teamwork and sharing credit. That is the challenge we face as we enter the last 75% of this century.
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