​By Steve Johnson

Flash back to 40 years ago. WAPA was a new organization, created simultaneously with the Department of Energy. The first Star Wars movie had completely captured my ten-year-old self’s attention. And the small Southern California town in which I was growing up faced severe drought.  

Now, let’s return to today. Drought is still impacting parts of the west, Star Wars continues to make box office history and WAPA’s mission to market and deliver federal hydropower remains much the same.  

My point? As things change in our world, some basic tenets remain. And, just as importantly, we must continue to evolve our thinking and approach to better ourselves and the organizations we are part of.  

This year, WAPA refreshed its core values, something that has not happened since 1993. This refresh represents a balance between maintaining the core beliefs that make WAPA what it is, and focusing on what we need to further WAPA’s mission in our rapidly changing world.   

Basic human curiosity ensures our world will continue to change and evolve; how we choose to interact with this changing world will dictate our success as individuals and as an organization. Curiosity, collaboration, relationships and trusting that our peers have our best interests at heart allow us to continue growing both individually and collectively.  

Said another way, seeking new ideas, sharing relevant information quickly and acting as one team united in a common mission ensures WAPA remains a premier organization. This importance is spotlighted in one of WAPA’s refreshed core values: Seek. Share. Partner.

To seek is to remain curious and act on that curiosity to discover something new, meet someone new, and find a new way to do something. When you continue to seek new things you keep your mind and spirit engaged. 

To share means to open yourself up and share your knowledge, to make yourself vulnerable while engaging with others. Proactively sharing strengthens relationships and ensures the prompt transfer of valuable information. 

To partner is to seek and share together as a team, while aligned in a common mission and vision.  Partnering requires energy and vulnerability to be successful. You must allow people to know your true self and be willing to provide and accept new information.

An example of the desire to seek, share and partner was borne out of this year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey goals. 

The Colorado River Storage Project Management Center Environmental team reached out across WAPA to see if it could collaborate on a project with another region to learn and to share their expertise. Sierra Nevada accepted the offer. As a result, CRSP MC and SN Environmental staff have embarked on an effort that will benefit both regions with the sharing of knowledge, and to accomplish an important environmental undertaking that will benefit SN’s hydropower resource. The knowledge and partnerships gained through this endeavor will likely lead to lasting collaboration between the two groups.

Remaining curious is one of the surest ways to continuously improve, and to improve the environment and world we live in. In this spirit we should seek to not only gain new ideas but to share ideas as well. 

We should always assume the best in each other, and strive to give the best to each other in an open, collaborative environment. 

We must “Seek. Share. Partner.” to ensure we continue to improve as individuals, and to keep WAPA improving as well.​

Last modified on September 12th, 2023