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For those who feel the war on terrorism
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Institutional change, the NASA way:

'...NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe met with reporters a day after the space agency released the results of a survey that showed many space agency employees feel unappreciated and are still afraid to speak up about safety concerns, more than a year after the Columbia disaster.'

'O'Keefe said part of the problem involves human nature: Most people are reluctant to express dissenting views in a large group. There's also a NASA mind-set that says, "We've got things to do, we've got to get on with this, we don't have time to listen to everybody moan and groan about every issue out there."'

'That very attitude contributed to the destruction of Columbia and the deaths of its seven astronauts on February 1, 2003.'

We see a pattern here that may be applicable to other branches of the U.S. Government. NASA's response to this problem is also instructive -- if mid-level managers don't want to change they way they handle dissent, then fire the mid-level managers.

Andrew 10:43 AM : |


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