Eric Bell

"Ridgeline doesn’t do defined, linear processes. Employees are expected to color outside the lines but still create a picture. Don’t come to Ridgeline if you’re looking to be told exactly what to do. If you require a manual, this is not the place for you. While there is structure to keep the company from imploding, we’re looking for innovators. People who will break things."

Eric Bell

Chief Administrative Officer

What did you work on yesterday?

Yesterday I worked on re-prioritizing our hiring effort. We want to ensure we have a plan in place to hire with more discretion and that the hires we make are aligned with our budgeting constraints. I also reviewed some Standing Operating Procedures (SOP’s) that were proposed for two teams within Ridgeline; ensuring everything is aligned and works the way it’s supposed to work before it officially becomes an SOP. In addition to the SOP review, I also coordinated an external audit of procurement processes to ensure the developed SOPs actually aligned with the process itself. I worked on employee relations activities, making sure employees have effective channels of communication with their supervisors and the leadership team. I also checked in with teammates who are presenting initiatives to the executive team on ways we could improve our internal processes.

How would you describe what you do at Ridgeline?

Unofficial answer: I put out fires! Official answer: I ensure the managers who lead Ridgeline’s support apparatus can perform their jobs. As I empower those people, we’re able to effectively support the whole company. The support structure is critical to all operations and I take great pride in knowing that I am part of a team that enables all Ridgeliners.

Why did you come to Ridgeline?

I joined Ridgeline after retiring from the Army and was looking for an organization that supported national security objectives. After 20 years of service, that kind of work was near and dear to me and I still wanted to contribute to that mission. The company was quirky enough to spawn a bit of curiosity but the actual impact of its work was enough to support my professional aspirations for the long term.

Why have you stayed at Ridgeline?

I’ve stayed because I get a strong sense of accomplishment from what we’re doing here at Ridgeline. We are having a significant impact on national level decisions and that’s rewarding for me. We operate differently than large government contractors – we innovate rapidly and our work is not mundane or routine. I have a real sense of belonging here.

What advice would you give to someone considering working at Ridgeline? Why should they do it? Why should they not?

My advice is come to Ridgeline with an open mind. Problem solving goes beyond the surface – it’s important to think two or three steps beyond what you’d do in a large organization that has defined, linear processes. Ridgeline doesn’t do defined, linear processes. Employees are expected to color outside the lines but still create a picture. Don’t come to Ridgeline if you’re looking to be told exactly what to do. If you require a manual, this is not the place for you. While there is structure to keep the company from imploding, we’re looking for innovators. People who will break things. This is not the place for people who look for step by step instructions. Although this sounds cliché, we’re truly asking people to think outside the box. We’re asking them to not even think of a box. Rather, think of an abstract concept – something that’s not even a shape yet, and turn that abstract thing into a solution. Ridgeline is an organization that allows employees to bring their ideas and creativity, and then challenges them to push beyond what they would typically do. The expectation is that they will collaborate with others to develop a more advanced solution than they would have on their own. This ability to innovate at all levels across the company keeps people engaged.

What kind of things do you enjoy outside of work?

I enjoy thrill seeking activities: a fast ride on my motorcycle or in my car, a rollercoaster ride, a dramatic bungee drop. I like to workout, eat, and spend time with my family. I believe in work/life balance and my role as a Ridgeliner supports those things. Some days are long but they seem effortless when you enjoy what you do. In all, I’m still able to enjoy the things I really care about. They are a priority for me.