Failures are a normal part of the space industry, but no one gets punished for them at ISRO, which encourages scientists to pursue creative techniques in decision-making, according to S Somanath, head of the space agency.
Somanath, who played a significant role in the soft-landing of a spacecraft on the moon, stated during the 50th anniversary of the All India Management Association (AIMA) that he, too, had suffered failures but was never chastised for it by his superiors.
“We make certain that no single person is penalised for failures because no decision is made by a single person.” “All of these decisions are made through collective wisdom,” he explained during an interactive session here.
According to Somanath, there is a strong awareness in the space industry that one person cannot understand everything, which leads to collective decision-making.
“So, collective decision-making entails accepting responsibility for failures as well.” The obligation is held by management rather than an individual. “This is the first,” he explained.
“As a result, people are brave enough to try new things or make unconventional decisions.” Otherwise, no one will take any chances,” warned the head of the space agency.
He stated that at ISRO, management was quite clear that failures are a natural part of the work process, and the strategy has always been to understand the causes for the setback and make the required improvements.
“You must have faith in those who have the courage to propose new ideas and support them.” “Once you do that, you can do amazing things in any organisation,” he says.
Somanath stated that when it came to identifying potential for the space programme, he discovered that the commitment levels to excel in life of those from humble backgrounds were exceptionally high when compared to city dwellers.
“If you get a person from a tier-3 institution and put him in the task, the growth rate of the person in terms of his ability, knowledge is substantially higher than I could see from a city dweller,” he stated.
“Because the distractions that change a person from concentrating on his work are actually higher for a city dweller than for a villager,” Somanath explained.
“This is a critical lesson I’ve learned from my organisation.” When I compare a guy from a humble family to a person from a top-tier institution, his commitment to excel in life is really great,” the ISRO chairman remarked.