Space: The Final (Coaching) Frontier

English: The International Space Station is fe...

English: The International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 11:55 p.m. (EDT) on May 29, 2011. Endeavour spent 11 days, 17 hours and 41 minutes attached to the orbiting laboratory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even high flying organisations can reach their peak.


Case in point, perhaps, is the United States’ space administration, NASA.  In my lifetime their visionaries put a man on the moon and a fleet of space shuttles into service.


Those were the past glories.  At the moment manned space exploration is on hold (although the International Space Station is doing interesting work).  The shuttle fleet is on permanent museum display, having reached its expiry date.  The vision seems to have dimmed.


Sadly, according to a BBC report, NASA’s current mission statement is a clunky amalgam of five elements, which add up to a less than inspiring whole.


As Marcia Smith, president of Space and Technology Policy Group, observes ‘If it takes you [five] phrases to explain [your goal], then you do not have a crisp, clear strategic vision.”


Come to think of it, that’s a coaching point.  To get where you are going you need to be clear about where that is.  You, or your organisation, also need to be able to set out the small steps that get you there.


For instance, to safely accomplish a moon landing you need to have done many things, including surveying the landing site.  (As a footnote I didn’t realise that the late astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, contributed lunar data which helped the Apollo space programme progress).


So, as they contemplate their organisation’s future, NASA’s leaderships needs to hire some new talent.  Perhaps in addition to the astronauts, engineers and project planners the administration needs a few coaches.  Equipped, of course, with the right stuff.

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