Leadership for Accelerating Innovation in Space Systems

Course length:

3 Days



Course dates

Interested in attending? Have a suggestion about running this course near you?
Register your interest now

Want to run this event on-site? Enquire about running this event in-house


This three-day experiential workshop is designed to provide project and engineering leaders with tested multidisciplinary techniques and methodologies for infusing advanced technologies and enabling accelerated space systems development. Technologies like additive manufacturing, structured light scanning, wireless avionics and advanced analytical tools are re-shaping the entire product life cycle, potentially enabling dramatic reductions (2-10X) in systems development cost and schedule. However, aerospace industry is particularly susceptible to unintended barriers to innovation created by misinterpreted risk posture. Many barriers such as the proliferation of processes & controls are disguised as mission success protocol, yet drive significant overhead, cost & schedule while adding little new understanding of project risk. An empowering, trusted leadership team is key to navigating the challenges of embracing uncertainty and the associated learning (failures), while remaining vigilant with lessons of highly visible experiences like the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia tragedies. Participants will develop specific, tactical knowledge thru real-time exercises and case studies with best practices, while developing deeper understanding of imbedded organizational culture barriers and natural human neurologic drivers for safety and control. Knowing the rigor and discipline of “engineering the system” is a critical foundation, however only a learning & open culture is capable of encouraging the insatiable curiosity and social awareness necessary for infusing innovation with hard-won experiential knowledge. Understanding and setting stakeholder risk expectations with today’s evolving public private partnerships is key to successfully driving decision velocity with targeted modeling, test and analysis. Leadership social & emotional intelligence skills are critical for tempering uncertainty of data & logic with experiential intuition and enabling mission success. This course is invaluable to all levels of technical and program leadership or teams involved in spacecraft and space launch systems design, development and operations.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to effectively accelerate complex systems development.
  • Creating decision velocity and innovative environment.
  • Eliminate intra organization competition, stovepipes.
  • Retooling break-thru engineering mental models.
  • Understanding unconscious neurological drivers in decisions making.
  • Creating high performance organization and culture.

Course Outline:

  1. Development Cycle DNA. Understanding/creating innovative environment; navigating the dichotomy of development to operations
  2. Embracing Risk Conundrum. Challenging defensiveness of status quo; analysis paralysis vs methodical uncertainty decision; Retooling Mental Models
  3. Success thru Failure. Learning smart failure approach, managing stakeholder expectations, accepting more than one right answer
  4. Communication and Language barriers. Aggressive listening to understand; Inquiry & Advocacy model; Death by meetings
  5. Collaboration, Compliance & Control. Complex systems integration, Empowerment & Engagement; process vs product focus
  6. Requirements or “Desirements”. Knowing customer; unintended margin amplification; rigorous flexibility; appropriate schedule pressure
  7. Creating Decision Velocity. Mission Focus, Analysis Paralysis; Infusing emotional, social intelligence with experiential intuition (IQ+EQ+SQ)
  8. Authentic Leadership Skills. Developing Self Awareness and Social Awareness Values & Behaviors; Coach Approach; situational leadership
  9. Engine of Possibility. 3 Keys to sustaining success with high reliability innovative systems.


Chris Singer, NASA deputy Chief Engineer (retired), responsible for creating an integrated collaborative engineering capability across 10 agency field centers enabling an in innovative culture for space exploration systems development and acquisition. He has distilled 34 years of space systems development experience and dozens of leadership development training, seminars and personal growth workshops into this 3-day event. As Director of Engineering at Marshall Space Flight Center, he re-engineered an organization of 2500 engineers, scientist and technicians responsible for design, testing, and operation of a diverse portfolio of aerospace systems from advanced rocket engines to space telescopes. He led engineering thru extremely challenging times including Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy/recovery, and the termination of two major programs, ($4-B) Constellation and Space Shuttle.

Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)


REGISTRATION: There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course. We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING: If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time. To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.