We began transitioning the leadership of MassDOT to Rich Davey this week. Yesterday, we removed the “Acting” from Frank DePaola’s title and made him our permanent Highway Administrator. Like me, I am sure that you have all seen that he is the right person for the job, is very capable, and will do very well. The transition is going well, leadership is in good hands, and we are looking to the future.
When I think of the future, it’s always in terms of action. Perhaps you do that as well. Where are we going? How are we getting there? What’s my role? It makes me think of MassDOT’s verbs – action words we have used since prior to the creation of our organization about what we all need to do to make MassDOT great – dream, communicate, and delegate.
I’ve written about this before, but if we are to redouble our efforts on implementing transportation reform, as we must, we need to think about action, and these three words are the key to our action strategy.
I know many of you have dreamed of what is possible with MassDOT and I know that many of you are inspiring others. I know this because I can see it in the work all of you are doing every day and in the positive results we are seeing. We have become known in many areas for being willing to try new things, and we have many, many people involved in the work of transportation reform – certainly more people than were involved just a few years ago. That’s great progress about which you should all be proud.
But, we need to communicate better. It’s ironic that, despite increases in communication in many areas, we had a major communication breakdown earlier this year that has been widely reported in the media. I am sorry for that because it cost us progress on transportation reform and has undercut our credibility. It tells me that we all need to do better communicating up, down, and across our organization and with the general public as well. To me, it starts with a conversation.
As we move into the next phase of transportation reform under Rich’s leadership and accelerate our implementation of the reform law, are you prepared to take the actions need to make MassDOT great? Have you recommended that we implement all of the “if we could only do” items you think of as you go about your day? Have you reached out and gotten your colleagues involved in your work? Have you started that conversation? Pledge to yourself to make these the focus of your efforts on actions for the future. MassDOT will be the better for it.