Happening Now


December 19, 2018

by Carolyn Cokley, Director Customer Programs

Synergy is defined as the benefit that results when two or more agents work together to achieve something neither one could have achieved on its own. It's the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

In the spirit of the year end, Rail Passengers Association staff took some well-deserved time this week to share a meal together and enjoy each other’s company outside of the office. The conversation started with the events of the day and general Washington small talk. But, inevitably whenever two or more rail advocates get together, the conversation quickly turned to the National Network.

It happened somewhere after we ordered our meal. Joe started by mentioning a thought he had concerning a challenge before him. Sean responded on how important it was to move forward quickly to have the greatest advantage. Abe agreed with the assessment and mentioned that he had been thinking the same. Bruce, Sam and I agreed, but still did not have a strategy to share. Jim continued to move the conversation forward by challenging us to brainstorm further. The conversation continued through the appetizer and just before the main entree was brought to the table, the conversation went from no strategy at all to a couple of very strong concepts of how to proceed. While we ate our meal, we continued to brainstorm and build on the proposed concepts by incorporating each other’s thoughts and ideas. By the time we finished our meal we found ourselves with a working concept to build on and move forward with.

On the metro ride back to the office, my mind drifted to what exactly we had accomplished over a lunch and how important was for us to all be in the same room at the same table with a challenge to be met. We were able to feed off each other’s energy in a relaxed environment without the interruptions that often come inside the office. It was quite remarkable. Could this have been accomplished in the Rail Passengers Association conference room, yes. Would it have been as efficient and left us with this tremendous feeling of satisfaction and camaraderie, no.

We have accomplished so much this year in support of our members and the National Network and I look forward to 2019 and moving more needles forward.