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The Smart Mission: On People, Knowledge, and the Importance of Appreciation

with Dr. Ed Hoffman and Judith W. Umlas

About the Webinar

People, teams, and organizations are engaged in missions. The word mission denotes purpose, meaning, and social impact. It is critical for a sense of well-being, focus, and appreciation. People on a mission, demonstrate it through behaviors and attitudes of appreciation. The Smart Mission is centered on the human element and expertise for successful teaming. While there is a tendency to prioritize process and technology, success is dependent on human collaboration and exchange. Drawing on examples and case studies from NASA and other organizations, we will explore six factors– learning, knowledge, teaming, global collaboration, culture of appreciation, and story – that promote a smart mission.

What You Will Learn/Takeaways:

  • Understand the factors shaping the knowledge-based economy and the importance of appreciation.
  • Recognize the mindset and capabilities necessary for creating and sustaining a successful team.
  • Describe the six dimensions that matter for mission-based work.
  • Implement at least one successful leadership strategy for immediate use in their project teams.

This webinar will provide up to 1.0 PDU.


Jusy UmlasJudith W. Umlas

Judith W. Umlas is Senior Vice President and Trainer at IIL, and the author of Grateful Leadership and the Power of Acknowledgment. Learn more by visiting the Center for Grateful Leadership website.

Dr. Ed HoffmanDr. Ed Hoffman

Dr. Ed Hoffman is the CEO, Knowledge Strategies, LLC. Knowledge Strategies is engaged in research, education, and consulting services in support of organization performance.

Dr. Hoffman is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, where he researches and leads a course entitled, ‘Navigating the Future of Work.’ His research indicates that intangibles of ideas, conversation, gratitude, and collaboration are critical for organization growth.

He serves as Strategic Advisor for the Project Management Institute, with a focus on supporting organizations around knowledge, learning, and leadership for teams.

He retired from a wonderful journey with NASA as a Senior Executive. At NASA, he was the first NASA Chief Knowledge Officer, and founder of the NASA Academy for Program, Project, and Engineering Leadership.

Following the Columbia Space Shuttle failure, he led a small team that designed the NASA Strategic Management and Governance approach. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2010.

He has co-authored an upcoming book, The Smart Mission: NASA’s Lessons for Managing Knowledge, People and Projects, scheduled for spring 2022 release by MIT Press.

He is currently researching and designing a curriculum sequence on the future of work, for Columbia University.

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