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[i]I would like to show you something that Bryan O'Connor offered to me the other day; that is, if I can get it out of its box.
It is a NASA coin, similar to what the DoD uses on many programs and institutions, and on the front, it has the NASA meatball, and on the back, it says "Yes, If."
Now, I am honored that Bryan gave me the first of these coins. What Bryan did was he picked up on something I had said sometime back. I am not sure what it was in connection with. It could have been Hubble servicing mission, but I made the point that we wanted to find a way to get to yes, and Bryan trumped those words down into something a little bit briefer and more memorable and said, we need to be a "Yes, If" kind of a culture we can do it, and here is what we have to do to do it, instead of "No because."
My father was an accountant, and he raised me this, that there were two kinds of accountants, one who knew all the rules and could find a way to do what you needed to do and another who knew all the rules and could find a way to tell you no.
We need, of course, to be the kind of organization that can find a way to say how we do things, and so I love this coin. Thank you for giving me the first of them, Bryan. I will treasure it.
I would like to see in NASA, this become something like the Silver Snoopy, the most coveted award in NASA that the astronauts give to people who have really helped in some way ensure mission success and mission safety.
I think your organization can serve as a place to identify people who deserve to get a "Yes, If" coin. It should become a mark of honor.
These things work. They can work positively and negatively. There was one program, I remember, that I worked on the DoD side many years ago where we had a rather infamous lead brick, and the lead brick would find itself on the desk whoever was the current tent pole in the program on the way to the pad. This was a program for which schedule really mattered, and the lead brick was desired to be avoided by all parties.
But I think we all know that carrots work much better than sticks. So this is a carrot, and I would like to see it become a prized medallion on somebody's desk, on anybody's desk at NASA that has it. I think it was a great idea, one of many thoughtful ideas that Bryan has offered in my time here.[/i]
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