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Committees Responsiveness

I was on a committee with people from many departments, and we spent long hours working on ways to improve operations. We wrote a thorough plan that was submitted to management, but that was the last we heard of it. What do you suggest we do?

Your company may be interested in improving operations, but based on the way that management handled your committee's findings, they do not sound like smooth operators at all. Unless their objective was to generate dissatisfaction, distress, and distrust, there should have been a response to your committee's work.

You have heard the last of your report only if you let that happen. You and your fellow committee members owe it to yourselves and to your company to find out what really happened to your plan. You need to know if it is still being reviewed, if it was deferred, if it was destroyed, or if it has been reborn as shelf liner. In a word, you are entitled to one of today's most popular buzzwords: closure.

One way to obtain such feedback is to advise the committee's leader of the widespread dissatisfaction on this matter, and ask him or her to set a meeting with management. If this is not feasible, then you should consider a letter from the entire committee to management. The letter should not reflect any of your disappointment or dissatisfaction, but rather should be a request to meet with management to discuss the report. Management's reaction, no matter what it may be, will give you a great deal of insight into the real operations of this company.

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