NASA Culture: October 2004 Archives

OK, We're Listening

20 October 2004: Message from NASA HQ - Public Inquiries Management Office, NASA HQ

"As NASA plots new courses to the moon, Mars, and beyond, we must equally plot communications strategies to keep our public and international communities informed of NASA's missions and accomplishments. One strategy is the realignment of the Public Inquiries Management Office (PIMO) within the Office of Public Affairs. This realignment centralizes the agency's management of public inquiries, albeit the medium--paper mail, e-mail, and voice-mail communications. As NASA moves forward, it is paramount that we explain our missions, programs, and activities in such a way that engenders a positive image for the agency."

NASA Web Portal Affinity Kit

"The Portal will use cutting-edge technology and thoughtfully created content to put NASA in the best light possible."

Editor's note: so long as NASA is focused on presenting a "positive image for the agency" or "the best light possible" it is going to stumble again and again. Rather, I would suggest, the better tactic for NASA PAO to take would be to present an "accurate" image of the agency - both flaws and strengths - as well as its accomplishments and challenges. When you try to distort reality and spin people's perceptions, they resist being spun. In contrast, when you are straight with people, they take the effort at face value and take the time to listen. THAT is how NASA should format its message.

8 October 2004: Ames Federal Employees Union complaint: "slandering NASA's civil servant workforce"

"First, NASA does not have a poor-performer problem. Your statement demeans the hard working men and women of this Agency who have dedicated their professional lives to NASA. You owe NASA's rank-and-file workforce an apology. It is outrageous that NASA's Chief Human Capital Officer would imply that poor performance is a major problem at NASA without any evidence to back this up. If you believe that poor performance is such a problem that it should trigger a request for additional legislative relief, why then did you not mention this in your Senate testimony on July 20th about NASA's workforce planning?"

Editor's note: I just have to say that this is getting to be a little silly. The Union folks dump on Vicki Novak for implying "that poor performance is a major problem at NASA without any evidence to back this up" in a paragraph that starts with the equally unsubstantiated statement "First, NASA does not have a poor-performer problem." My question to the union folks: please provide evidence to back up YOUR claim.

4 October 2004: NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released

"The Government's inability to identify and correct deficiencies in the TIROS operations and LMSSC oversight processes were due to inadequate resource management, an unhealthy organizational climate, and the lack of effective oversight processes."

Otherwise, armwaving and name calling aside, this letter references problems that continue to plague the agency.



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This page is an archive of entries in the NASA Culture category from October 2004.

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