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Crazy Might Work | Issue #5 | September 2022

“Despite this extraordinary job and recognition, my life changed when the Hubble Failure Review Board named the cause of the flawed mirror a ‘leadership failure’.” 

Dr. Charlie Pellerin, Author of ‘How NASA Builds Teams’

Appropriate Inclusion

Post-mortems of failed NASA missions revealed that one of the most destructive behaviours was castigation of contractors when things went wrong, which made them reluctant to speak up on subsequent occasions. Many of these people had been at NASA longer that the incumbents and had spent more time at NASA than in their own organisations, and yet were treated as second rate citizens within the mission teams. One of the important changes of the NASA 4-D program is to treat contractors as team members. Another was to differentiate between under and over-inclusion:


Too many people CC’d on emails, or invited to meetings on initiatives for which they have no direct accountability or responsibility; hitting ‘Reply All’ on someone else’s over-inclusive e-mail.


Withholding information, power or acknowledgement from those that deserve it, or need it to do their jobs effectively; engaging in behaviours that diminish another’s sense of belonging.

Appropriate Inclusion

Once you are clear who should be included, the following behaviours establish a sense of inclusion:

  • Sharing credit

  • Sharing information

  • Explaining decisions

  • Express appreciation

  • Establishing shared interests

  • Introducing playfulness/humour

  • Asking for contributions from everyone

  • Setting and respecting boundaries/standards

Our full CRAZYPodcast series ‘How NASA Builds Teams’, with Dr. Charlie Pellerin, is live on major podcast sites and our YouTube Channel!

Dr. Charlie Pellerin is the former Director of Astrophysics at NASA, architect of the 4-D program for high-performing teams, author of How NASA Builds Teams and leader of the NASA Hubble mission.

You can listen or watch the episodes here:

NASA 4-D Leadership Program for High-Performing Teams

Interested in learning the secrets of NASA's highest-peforming teams? Or want to know how your team fares against NASA? Join our public, virtual NASA 4-D Program on 13 October 2022, or contact us for an in-house program. Register Here!

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