We Choose to go to the Moon

25 September 2015 12:12:03 PM NZST


What can we learn from NASA’s incredibly innovative accomplishments that have inspired the world?


Those who attended or watched UBT’s Achiever Conference last week were ‘fired up’ by the boldness of America’s goals for space exploration in the 1960s.

‘Now it is time to take longer strides…’


In President Kennedy’s speech to Congress on 25 May 1961, he asked for approval for extra funds so America could take a leading role in space exploration, and land a man on the moon and bring him back safely, before the end of the decade.


Recognising the ‘head-start’ that the Soviet Union had in space achievements at that time, Kennedy said, ‘For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort, will make us last.’


On 20 July 1969, before the decade was over, America put a man on the moon.


But behind every one of NASA’s amazing innovations lie carefully managed operations, just like any other organisation. Space exploration may be NASA’s mission, but its innovative leadership practices are founded on solid, down-to-earth methods anyone can apply anywhere.


Innovation for its own sake is not an option. It must serve the project at hand, and risk must be tightly managed. Innovation is highly prized during the proposal and conceptual stages of a project, but once the program is approved and budgeted, things become more complex.


NASA’s traditional approach to management involved recruiting personnel from the US Air Force and Navy to utilise experiences in what became known as ‘systems engineering’: managing and communicating with personnel of different groups and cultures.


When money is scarce and the odds are stacked against us, what is required is ‘old-world’ leadership 
and management, along with daring and determination and the driving passion of the whole team to reach our goals.


Source: Innovation the NASA way, Rod Pyle

Posted in UBT Updates By

Erica Field