Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NASA Culture

As many of you know, I've done extensive research on NASA and the shuttle program over the past few years. In that work, my co-authors and I wrote about the barriers to candid dialogue at NASA, and the reasons why dissenting views were suppressed. Therefore, I was quite struck by this video that NPR reported on a few days ago. (Thank you to my colleague Lynda St. Clair for alerting me to this story and video).

An astronaut at NASA produced this satirical video to point out many of the cultural barriers to candid dialogue and innovative thinking that continue to exist at NASA despite many efforts to transform the culture in recent years. I'm sure many of you will recognize the behaviors and norms demonstrated in the video, because they exist in your own organizations.