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:
"Dr. Pellerin knows how NASA works, from long experience with the organization. What he has learned about how NASA puts together teams to attain out-of-this-world goals can help you and your organization achieve your own goals. This is a book well worth studying."
—Dr. Michael D. Griffin, Head of NASA, 2005-2009
"As a NASA program manager, I saw our teams make quantum leaps in improvement using Pellerin's 4-D system. Later, as a senior NASA leader, I witnessed an organization-wide transformation as the 4-D team-building system took root in our culture. I can endorse this book in the strongest possible terms, but what matters more is the experience of thousands of engineers and scientists whose careers and lives have been positively affected by 4-D."
—Rex D. Geveden, former chief engineer, NASA
"This book is an extraordinary guide to building effective teams to solve technical problems. The insights, based on years of experience in building teams for NASA, reveal a deep understanding of how technical people interact and can be motivated to work more effectively. Any organization where success requires a motivated technical staff will benefit from this book."
—Dr. Len Fisk, Head of Space Science, NASA, 1985-1992
"Great projects demand great leadership. The 4-D process in this book has tools, attitudes, and habits that will help make you a great project leader. It's really for any group that is tackling a challenging project, not just for NASA or space projects. I strongly endorse this volume. I believe the reader will find it entertaining as well as a wonderful approach to forging a more successful management team. When I developed and ran GPS, I wish it had been available to me."
—Brad Parkinson, chief architect of the Global Positioning System (GPS); Professor Emeritus, Astronautics, Stanford University
"By teaching us how to understand our customer's mind-set and then to authentically shape our team's offering in response, Pellerin helped us win three major competitive proposals worth $9 billion. His 4-D approach helps team members achieve superior results-and in the process, live richer and more compassionate lives."
—Greg Davidson, Northrop Grumman Space Technology
"This book has become an integral part of my life. It provides a framework for improving not only your professional life but your personal life as well."
—John Morton, Vice President, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
I recommend this book for all teams that want to improve their performance.
He is correct that gathering the team assessment data, follow up to work on issues, and coaching is what makes the 4-D Process valuable for teams.
Charlie Pellerin's "How NASA Builds Teams" is an excellent tutorial of Charlie's proven 4D System to build highly effective technical teams.
This is a book for people who care equally for themselves and everyone else. It reaches into discussions of your core personality "4-D" dimensions (which the author calls:... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Troy Klein
Has some sound ideas about different types of leadership. The book ran through a lot of concepts but they felt like they were pull together without clear direction, and it felt... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dara Soum
As an IT Manager in the Aerospace industry, I often find myself in situations where I need to understand and work with professionals possessing a wide range of technical skill and... Read morePublished on December 11, 2011 by Chris Acree
I use Dr. Pellerin's book on an annual basis to ensure my team is functioning at its fullest. His book is easy to understand and good for working with highly technical and... Read morePublished on November 16, 2011 by Stacy N. Stonich
If you read the first chapter of this book (click inside) you get the feeling that this book actually has something to offer. Sadly, it doesn't. Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by Balmes Tejeda
The most amazingly insightful and practical book I've ever read! It was literally life-changing for me in putting the 'how' into practice. Read morePublished on January 22, 2011 by Mr. Ian Sharpe
I had give this book to my son , and he read at same day,
they could learn much more than had been achieved with traditional teaching
I kept thinking that if our... Read more
This is an amazing work. In "How NASA Builds Teams," we find an astrophycist and former high-ranking NASA executive, Charles Pellerin, laying out a succinct and remarkably... Read morePublished on July 9, 2010 by Todd Neff