A smart business owner knows how to draw inspiration, especially from sources that have been a beacon of innovation and success. They recognize and apply the tools and ideas used by others to their own practices, improving and strengthening not only current methods but future growth. One such model of success that can serve as inspiration to a small business owner is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Established in 1958, it can be argued that no entity has done more for technological and scientific innovation than NASA, not just in space but industries as diverse as medicine, manufacturing and food packaging. It would actually be hard to find a facet of business not touched in some way by this successful merger of private and public ingenuity. So what inspiration can a small business owner draw from NASA and apply to their workplace? Let’s take a look.
Never Stop Learning – Complacency can be easy when achieving early success, so be wary of a “good enough” philosophy. NASA encourages an atmosphere of stretching abilities and limits to achieve greater and higher milestones. Their Agency Training and Development Office provides this kind of service to employees, keeping goals continually changing. Stress the kind of training and development that always carries a forward momentum in your workforce and yourself. Gaining skill and knowledge should be in your field of forward vision, not the rear-view mirror.
Leadership 101 – Meeting goals effectively can only come with the right leadership to pave the way. Leadership development is a top priority at NASA, just as it should be in your business culture. The agency outlines a detailed strategy to develop leadership on its website which can be a valuable tool for business owners to study and incorporate in their own way. Your process of development may differ from their specific style, but NASA’s overall philosophy of competency, guidance, management of personnel and discipline of knowledge can be touchstones of stressed importance for any business to follow.
Think Big – The people that won the space race and landed on the moon were never small thinkers. Big thoughts that defy boundaries are what led to innovation at NASA, and should be a part of your process as a business owner. Solicit ideas from every department at every level, giving careful consideration along the way to not reject anything out of hand. Encouraged imagination combined with the right training and leadership can propel your business high above the clouds and into the stars. Just ask NASA.
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