EDITORIALS

Since January 2006, Doug has ghostwritten or edited more than 600 internal OpEd articles in a regular online feature called "My View" (click here to see PDF) that appears on the Space Systems Company intranet. The columns were published weekly until December 5, 2012, when the site was redesigned in SharePoint 2010 to add interactivity, searchability, embedded graphics, and video—and the frequency was doubled. In September 2014, the Corporation adopted the My View idea for an executive editorial called "Leadership Corner."

Doug also prepared detailed briefing books for Executive Town Hall Meetings hosted by visiting CEOs or the Executive VP. This work has been done on behalf of more than two dozen Lockheed Martin executives, as well as countless individual contributors and mid-level leaders. Click to access two examples in PDF format:

Memorable excerpts from past My View columns

When ghostwriting for My View columnists, Doug has employed just about every literary device in the writer’s toolkit to inform, inspire, and entertain. The following is a sampling of the most colorful quotations from the first three and a half years, grouped into categories, based on the techniques used to attract readers:

Storytelling

 

One of my favorite stories dates back to the sixth century. A traveler came upon a group of three hard-at-work stonemasons and asked each in turn what he was doing. The first replied matter of factly, “I am sanding down this block of marble.” The second answered more broadly, “I am preparing a foundation.” And the third responded proudly, “I am building a cathedral.” I can relate to this tale because I think it’s a perfect metaphor for the history-shaping work we perform at Space Systems Company. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I don’t tell them that I attend meetings, return phone calls and wade through airport security lines. I tell them I’m exploring our solar system and the universe; monitoring and predicting our Earth’s environment; and protecting the cause of freedom—and so are you.

Jim Crocker, Vice President, Sensing & Exploration Systems, February 27, 2008

I could see it in his face—frustration, fear, sadness, regret. Jim (not his real name), a pleasant but anxious 46-year-old male new to my office came in for follow-up after a recent hospitalization following a heart attack. Through tears, he recounted his shocking story: Just a week earlier, while sitting at his computer, he experienced sudden crushing chest pain, nausea, and sweating. He collapsed to the floor beside his chair, clutching his chest and gasping for air. A co-worker called 9-1-1. 

Dr. David Zieg, Medical Director, Space Systems Company, April 1, 2009

If you have ever driven across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Golden Gate Bridge, or taken the E-470 freeway in Denver ... you’ve seen it: the infamous toll gate. The first time you travel such a route, you ... work your way across traffic to get into the correct lane ... You fight with your seat belt ... to reach your wallet or purse. You dig around to find enough cash ... With a little planning, you could have moved into the correct lane a few miles back, brought the correct change, put it where it was easily accessible, and saved yourself a lot of unnecessary stress ... I tell this story because it has some parallels to our ongoing quest for Operational Excellence. As we in Space Systems Company journey down the road from “Mission Requirements” to “Mission Success,” we need to travel prepared.

Marshall Byrd, VP and General Manager, Commercial Space Systems, March 18, 2009

Metaphors

 

We’re good at what we do. We wrote the book. And the sequel’s going to be even better.

Tom Marsh, Executive VP, Space Systems Company, January 11, 2006

How do you get to work? Do you drive the same route every day? Similarly, how do you do your job? Are you stuck in the rut of automatically rejecting new ideas simply because “it’s always been done this way”? While it’s vital to adhere to approved processes, procedures and policies, it’s also good once in a while to put on our creative thinking caps and look for ways to improve.

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP, Space Systems Company, March 22, 2006

Life often presents us with competing priorities, which call for creative solutions that go beyond the seesaw metaphor. For example, we should take our vacation time but we should also perform all of our assigned work. We are asked to follow established processes but still think outside the box. In situations like these, I suggest we think of these requests not as opposing ends of a seesaw but rather as instruments in an orchestra. An orchestra conductor’s job is to create harmony between vastly different instruments while recognizing that the whole will benefit from allowing individual players to shine as soloists from time to time. Like these soloing instruments, there will be times when certain aspects of our work or personal lives require more attention. The key to balance is maintaining harmony and control on a grand scale.

Rich Kludt, VP, Human Resources, August 1, 2007

Analogies

 

We don’t want to be like the athletes who settle for winning by a single point in the last seconds of a game. Our standard of excellence should not be measured against the competition. Our benchmark, according to ... Bob Stevens, is not merely “winning”—but rather, “perfection.” When we achieve mission success, it’s not enough to achieve victory by a slim margin or through last-minute heroics. Mission success should be the predictable result of our pursuit of perfection—like the Olympian who wins a gold medal while targeting a new world’s record.

Rick Malone, Former VP, Mission Success(now retired), June 6, 2007

You can’t steal second base with one foot still on first. A runner takes a risk to lead off from first base in the hopes of stealing second. Once he achieves that goal, however, he not only advances his position, but he also lowers the risk of being caught in a double play. Remember, you’ll never hit a home run if you don’t take a chance once in a while. In other words (to mix a few baseball metaphors), when a colleague or a customer throws you a curve ball, you may need to adjust your stance. And if you strike out when you pitch some idea from out of left field, just step up to the plate and take another whack at it, making sure to cover all your bases right off the bat.

Myles Crandall, Former VP, Strategic Development, April 4, 2007

How would you feel if your computer hard drive crashed, and you lost your life’s work? What if the data were gradually being erased from stored memory? That’s like the threat that looms over us with the impending retirement of a portion of our workforce, and it’s why we have made knowledge sharing a top priority. So what is knowledge sharing? It’s more than simply passing along information and tips. It’s communicating the “know-how, know-who, and know-why.” It’s working together more effectively, collaborating more frequently, and combining the tried-and-true and the cutting-edge to create innovative new solutions.

Sherry Stripling, Director, Training & Development, January 23, 2008

Humor

 

Those of us with years of service at Lockheed Martin (need) to avoid the verbal shorthand of acronyms and buzzwords when relating to our newest colleagues...A team of newly hired aerospace engineers might be alarmed if you tell them they are being sent to “NEO” (New Employee Orientation) if they think it means “Near-Earth Orbit.”

Evan McCollum, Director, Communications, June 13, 2007

If you’ll excuse the Star Trek puns, we SSC veterans who have guided this “enterprise” over the past few decades now need to empower “the next generation” of employees “to boldly go” forward with our important work. After all, they are the ones who will ultimately ensure that SSC can “live long and prosper.”

Tom Marsh, Executive VP, June 14, 2006

Lists

 

Several years ago we hired a leading branding consultant to survey our customers’ attitudes about Lockheed Martin. From the results, we discovered what they value about us, and we grouped these findings into five attributes:
 • A bias for performance
 • A passion for invention
 • Comprehension of consequences
 • Affinity for customers
 • Aptitude for whole systems thinking

Jan Wrather, VP of Communications October 11, 2006

If SAFETY were an acronym, it could stand for the following:
 Standards. Start by following established instructions, procedures, standards, and practices.
 Action. If you see a hazard, correct it if you can, or report it promptly if you can’t.
 Fellow Employees. Look out for your co-workers as they look out for you.
 Environment. Be aware of things like icy streets in Denver, the new fleet of Yellow Bikes in Sunnyvale.
 Training. Complete your safety training and maintain your certifications.
 You! Be accountable. Remember the message of our recent safety video: “It’s up to me.”

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP, February 14, 2007

Four “E”s you can employ to help us “shape the future”:
 • Embrace the company’s vision and values. 
 • Emphasize consistent, positive progress.
 • Elicit innovation.
 • Encourage change. 

 

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP,  August 9, 2006

 

History

 

Lockheed Martin’s collective philanthropy dates back to the early days of World War II—long before our campuses in Denver and Sunnyvale existed. Employees at our Burbank, Calif., facilities established a payroll deduction system to provide a single source of funding. It was dubbed the “Buck-of-the-Month Club for Victory” because employees at the time contributed 25 cents per week.

Joy Knight, Space Systems Community Relations, November 29, 2006

The universe is expanding. In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble proved this scientifically by measuring the wavelength and brightness of light emanating from faraway galaxies. But it doesn’t take advanced math to recognize that our universe of knowledge is likewise expanding—dramatically—as we venture beyond the boundaries of our ancestors’ imaginations. Fittingly, in our quest to understand the expanding universe, we have expanded our universe of understanding.

 

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP, January 31, 2007

 

In the early 80s, Apple Inc. introduced a portable version of its Apple II computer that could switch from QWERTY to Dvorak keyboard layouts with the push of a single button. Unfortunately, it was too late. QWERTY, for better or worse, had become the industry standard. Computer buyers already knew how to use it. Such is the power of commonality. When everyone speaks the same language, uses the same tools, marches to the same drum, it leads to repeatable success. That’s why we have placed such a high priority on our Common Integrated Process System, or CIPS. We want to be “one company”—with common processes leading to consistent performance.

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP, October 31, 2007

Celebrities

 

What do Rachel Ray, Michael Jordan and Alexander the Great have in common?  They all had influential mentors. Oprah Winfrey mentored the famous cook and talk show host, Rachel Ray; Phil Jackson mentored the sensational basketball player, Michael Jordan; and Aristotle mentored one of the most successful military commanders in history, Alexander the Great. The field of space (also) needs talented people who are willing to share their knowledge and learn from one another’s experiences.

Linda Brisnehan, VP of Information Technology, May 28, 2008

As each of you moves forward in your quest for excellence, I would urge you to pay attention to properly fueling yourself. As a good coach, I’d tell you that you can get a needed quick boost from the “sugars” of approval and competition. But this quest is a marathon, not a sprint, so you had better fortify yourself with the “complex carbohydrates” of process rewards and purpose. Or as actress Meryl Streep put it, “Work itself is the reward. If I choose challenging work it will pay me back with interest. At least I’ll be interested even if nobody else is. And this attempt for excellence is what sustains the most well-lived and satisfying, successful lives.”

 

Joanne Maguire, Executive VP, April 15, 2009

 

Timeliness

 

When German astronaut Hans Schlegel experienced health problems last week aboard the Space Shuttle—delaying his planned spacewalk—it underscored for us the impact that personal health can have on Mission Success. Fortunately, Schlegel recovered from his non-contagious illness and was eventually able to join Rex Walheim as they worked to replace a nitrogen tank on the International Space Station. It’s hard to find a doctor to make house calls up there. If there’s a lesson here for the rest of us, it’s that sickness seems to strike when it’s least convenient, and that we need to do whatever we can to prevent it.

John Karas, VP & General Manager, Human Space Flight, February 20, 2008

It has now been just over a year since Joanne Maguire challenged us to realign our Concept of Operations, sparking a rebirth of Space Systems' entire Engineering and Production organizations. It was a bold move calculated to strengthen our designs, eliminate handoff errors, and leverage best practices. This was by no means a simple task. How, after all, do you reengineer Engineering? We knew it would take a concentrated effort, but we also knew we had the talent and determination to make it happen.

Wanda Sigur, VP, Engineering, February 4, 2009