How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...

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How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470502952
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,155,121
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Charles J. Pellerin holds a PhD in astrophysics and is the former director of NASA's Astrophysics Division, where he oversaw an annual budget of $750 million, launched a dozen satellites, and led the team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. He was also Professor of Leadership in the business school at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

PART I: UNDERSTANDING AND ANALYZING CONTEXT.

CHAPTER 1 Think You Can Ignore Context? Hubble’s Flawed Mirror Might Wake You Up.

CHAPTER 2 Managing Social Context Manages Technical Performance.

CHAPTER 3 The 4-D System: A Simple Tool to Analyze Team and Individual Performance.

PART II: USING 4-D ASSESSMENTS AND REPRESENTATIVE RESULTS FROM NASA.

CHAPTER 4 The 4-D Assessment Process.

CHAPTER 5 NASA’s 4-D Teambuilding Results.

PART III: 4-D DIAGNOSTICS: HOW TO COLOR CODE YOUR TEAM’S CONTEXT.

CHAPTER 6 Using the 4-D System to Color Your Personalities.

CHAPTER 7 Using the 4-D System to Analyze Cultures.

CHAPTER 8 Incoherent Project Mindset Colors? Update Your Resume.

PART IV: SHIFTING THE CONTEXT.

CHAPTER 9 The Context Shifting Worksheet (CSW).

CHAPTER 10 Red Story-Lines Limit Team Performance.

CHAPTER 11 Manage Your Emotions to Manage Your Team’s Energy.

CHAPTER 12 People Need to Feel Appreciated by You.

CHAPTER 13 Mine the Gold in Your Shared Interests.

CHAPTER 14 People Need to Feel Included by You.

CHAPTER 15 Building Trustworthy Contexts.

CHAPTER 16 Creating the Future You Want.

CHAPTER 17 Your Team Can’t Afford Drama.

CHAPTER 18 Don’t Put Good People in Bad Places.

Epilogue: Hubble’s Legacy.

References.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2009

    This teambuilding process works!

    As an OD and learning consultant for nearly 20 years, this is the only approach to teambuilding that I have discovered that consistently transforms teams and has quantitative evidence to prove it. With a 'team shifting context', Dr. Pellerin provides leaders and their teams with tools that are easily put into practice - and much more effective and efficient than individual training. The examples in his book are interesting and relatable for any project team member, and as a bonus, he offers free downloable resources.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A blueprint for team success!

    This book offers a simple (yet profound), immediately applicable process to support positive team experiences and excellent team outcomes - relevant for all stages of team formation/evolution. Don't wait to use it for the "autopsy" of why your team wasn't successful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2009

    Voluntarily Used by Aerospace Professionals

    The book has evidence and data to show the extent of voluntary usage and the resulting impact on teams' performance. The population of aerospace professionals is highly educated (techincally), experienced, skeptical and suspicious of other professions "helping" them.

    Since the authour is "one of them," his concepts, language and methods are accepted and credible. I believe the book and related brief assessments will be a strong source of performance advantage, just when society desparately needs valuable contributions from technical teams with such advanatage.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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