From the Inside Flap
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
From the Back Cover
"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