Six Years of Leading Space

Hard to believe I started LeadingSpace six years ago this month. Time flies.

Looking over the history of LeadingSpace and its 180 articles to date, I note that my writing focus has shifted with time, with several distinct phases. When I started LeadingSpace in 2009, I was leading a team of professionals charged with figuring out a strategy on how to keep two of NASA’s key facilities operating with the impending end of the Space Shuttle Program. I chose to use LeadingSpace as a vehicle to share my experiences in transitioning to a new leadership role, learning the specific situation at hand, and getting to know the people involved. In 2009 this was the primary focus of LeadingSpace, with an occasional new contribution since. The topic of Team Leadership marks the first phase of LeadingSpace.

Hints in late 2009 of changes to come in human spaceflight policy were unveiled in early 2010 with the cancellation of the Constellation Program, leading to uncertainty and debates over space policy and implementation. Some of that initial uncertainty spilled over into my work life. Consequently, much of the focus of my writing shifted from team leadership situations into dealing with change.

One of the key pieces I wrote during this time was a major multi-part treatise on the value proposition for human spaceflight, where I attempted to define a framework for conversing about its future:

Leading change and defining a value proposition for human spaceflight mark the second phase of LeadingSpace.

Starting in 2012, with my personal focus directed towards working on an Executive MBA under a two-year fellowship, I wrote a bit less. I tended to post quick blurbs on current topics. Towards the end of the two-year sabbatical I wrote a few pieces applying some of the operations management and federal budgeting principles I learned in the EMBA program.

I also shared a major multi-part treatise on elements of strategy that must be considered for the future of human spaceflight, based on a term paper I wrote for a Strategic Management class.

Thus we come to the end of third phase.

What will the future hold for LeadingSpace? It could be many things, and I have a lot of options. An ambitious project I have on my to-do list is to meld the human spaceflight value proposition series with the Strategizing for NASA series. Also, judging by pageviews the Transactional, Transitional, and Transformational Change post is by far the most popular piece I’ve written. Perhaps that indicates a hunger for information on dealing with change. I’m also drawn to matters of strategy in a broader context than human spaceflight, such as the recent decision by Target to exit the Canadian market. I have a draft post written on that. I also could return to the roots of LeadingSpace and write about my current experiences in a new role, which today deal with building a supply web of data and processes for planning, training, and executing NASA’s future Exploration missions. This would entail an interesting topical mix of influence leadership, operations management, and federal budgeting.

In other words, the future looks very promising for LeadingSpace. I hope you don’t mind that I take you where the wind blows.

Most of all, thank you for reading.

Six Years of Leading Space