Imagine walking into your office and being greeted by a sign that reads:
DARE MIGHTY THINGS
What a jolt of inspiration! How proud you’d feel working with people who share that passion, that vision.
Sound like Fantasyland?
Actually, it’s business-as-usual at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). You know NASA, where failure is not an option. JPL is the mecca for the world’s top scientists and engineers. It’s also the epicenter for robotics technology and the cutting edge of space exploration.
Not satisfied with perfection, JPL created an elite group of innovators to conceive and incubate new ideas. Their brainstorming sessions venture waaay out-of-the-box and probe ways to learn about the universe. The team might tackle a challenge like: ‘If a stadium-sized asteroid comes hurtling toward earth, how can we deflect it?’
Here’s my take. To truly dare mighty things requires a commitment that starts at the top. It’s not a parlor trick or slick tag line. It takes courageous leaders to bake ‘excellence’ the company’s culture. Anything less is lip service.
So, here’s a peek at what makes JPL special.
They know how mighty things often start as small nuggets. So, JPL created ‘pitch day’, a sweeping search for new ideas. They empower staffers by inviting them to propose ways to improve company performance and growth. Suggestions range from new products to cost-saving solutions to partnership opportunities. And to underscore their commitment, JPL offers incentives to the finalists.
The winners are celebrated and rewarded with funding for their project, plus a role in bringing their ‘mighty thing’ to life.
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