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  Administrator Mike Griffin's "Yes, If" coin

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Author Topic:   Administrator Mike Griffin's "Yes, If" coin
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-16-2009 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Addressing NASA's employees for the last time as Administrator, Mike Griffin on Friday displayed the first NASA "Yes, If" challenge coin, developed by NASA's Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance (and former astronaut) Bryan O'Connor.

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.

cfreeze79
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Posts: 300
From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01-16-2009 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome - but are they (the coins) mission-flown?

eurospace
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Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 01-16-2009 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No wonder he lost out with Obama... the slogan was "Yes, we can"...

------------------
J├╝rgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Vice President, Weltraum Philatelie e. V.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 639
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-17-2009 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Yes, we can...If" works for me!

We're not going to do the things we would like (return to the Moon and on to Mars and beyond), without the courage and foresight to follow through. A great many people in this country see the space program as a tremendous WASTE of money! They think that billions of dollars are gathered, put in a rocket and launched into space without benefiting anyone. The quest to return to the moon is seen as an effort those spend billions of dollars to collect rocks that we already collected 40 years ago!

If we are going to take that next step, we as a forum. need to share the message everyday, every chance we get to change this thinking. I wish our new president, all the luck in the universe, but after Tuesday, it's time to get to work!

Let's keep spreading that positive message that the space program benefits all of us!

Cliff

Bones
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posted 02-27-2009 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bones   Click Here to Email Bones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Im sorry, the mediocrity characteristic of the last eight years is written all over this "Yes, if" coin. We should no longer accept equivocation and vacillation - space is no place for the blubbering -- "yes, if".

You want to name brand excellence, then lets go back to an earlier time. We CHOOSE to go to the Moon. We CHOOSE to go to Mars. Not if, but when.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2009 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I agree with your sentiment, I think you have misdirected your message. NASA cannot "CHOOSE" to do anything; as a federal agency, it follows the policies set forth by the President and Congress.

NASA's role is to answer the challenges that are decided by the executive and legislative branches. In that regard, a "Yes, if" coin is appropriate as it emphasizes the message that YES, NASA can, IF they apply themselves.

TRS
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Posts: 597
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 02-28-2009 03:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and it reflects the difference between the 'NO we can't manage that BECAUSE' attitude and the YES we can IF we do.... attitude.

Excellent sentiment IMHO.

Bones
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posted 03-01-2009 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bones   Click Here to Email Bones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I appreciate the responses, and I do not disagree. So let me adopt them. The coin should say, "Yes NASA can." if its to be a token of NASA's right stuff. "Yes if" is simply too conditional to use as a badge of honor. Snoopy would agree, I assure you.

TRS
Member

Posts: 597
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 03-07-2009 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, I am not too stressed at the concept of some conditionality. I like "yes, if" because it implies the 'right stuff' with some intelligent thinking behind it. I don't believe that blanket "yes" statements are always a good thing. The effects of 'go fever' would be one example that points to the danger of simply giving an unconditional yes.

All times are CT (US)

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