How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams
Every successful organization needs high-performance teams in order to compete and succeed. Yet, technical people are often resistant to the traditional "touchy-feely" brand of team building.
To improve communication, performance, and morale among NASA's technical teams, former NASA astrophysicist Charles Pellerin developed the team-building process described in How NASA Builds Teams-an approach that is proven, quantitative, and requires only a fraction of the time and resources of traditional training methods.
Pellerin's "4-D" process has boosted team performance in hundreds of NASA project teams, engineering teams, and management teams, including the people responsible for NASA's most complex systems-the Space Shuttle, space telescopes, robots on Mars, and the mission back to the moon. How NASA Builds Teams explains how the 4-D team-building process can be implemented in any organization, and includes a fast, free online behavioral assessment to help your team and the individual members understand each other and measure the key driver of team performance: the social context.
Moreover, these simple, logical processes appeal strongly to technical teams who eschew traditional training. Pellerin applies simple, elegant principles from his physics background to the art of team building, such as the use of a coordinate system to analyze the characteristics of team performance into actionable elements.
The author illustrates the team-building process with entertaining stories from his decade as NASA's Director for Astrophysics and subsequent fifteen years of working closely with NASA and outside business teams. For example, he tells how the processes in the book enabled him to initiate the space mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope's flawed mirror.
The book includes a free download of Pellerin's most powerful tool for influencing the outcome of any difficult situation: the Context Shifting Worksheet. In addition, free downloadable resources will help you:
Identify your teammates' innate personalities
Diagram your culture-and compare it to that of your customer
Measure the coherency of your project's paradigm-get this wrong and you will be fired
Learn how authentic appreciation creates an atmosphere of mutual respect
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