“A moonshot taps into human aspirations to achieve something unexpected, difficult, and worthwhile.” -Goldman and Purmal The Moonshot Effect: Disrupting Business As Usual
In September of 1962, John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice University, touched something in all of us. From expectation to aspiration, his words lifted up the human spirit to reach new heights, to learn to see the impossible as possible, igniting our sense of curiosity, as well as reigniting our passion to pioneer a new way forward, to blaze paths were none existed.
Words that served as the catalyst for Moonshot Thinking…
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
Our world has changed a lot since Kennedy’s speech in 1962, but that idea of the Moonshot still seeps into those individuals and organizations that are willing to do what others have not, to challenge themselves and those around them to set the pace, to raise the bar on the idea of possible, to muster up incredible feats of creative and innovative thinking and doing, all in the aim of further, better. To rekindle and reignite a willingness and “want” to brave the unknown, the uncertain, to move out beyond the bounds and borders of the known and the usual.
To reach for something higher, to bring out the best in each and every one of us…
And while the pace of change has accelerated and the world has determined to move in a much more exponentially manner, the spirit of the Moonshot remains, in us and our organizations that are willing to continually push past the status quo and linear thinking that keeps us entrenched in the known.
The only change may be that our “Moonshots” of the past are quickly becoming “Mars shots” for the future…
As you determine your perspective FOR the future, don’t lose sight of or bury those Moonshots and crazy ideas that often lay buried under the surface. Remember, so very often, what was considered crazy today, is what changes the world for the better tomorrow.
So as you consider your moonshot, in their work, The Moonshot Effect, Goldman and Purmal give us good understanding of what a moonshot is and that “a moonshot has three essential elements woven into its very fabric:”
IT’S UNEXPECTED: because it lives outside of business as usual, the moonshot is surprising.
IT’S HARD: you cannot transform by doing more of what you’re already doing. A moonshot demands breakthroughs and disruption.
IT’S WORTH IT: achieving a moonshot represents a major victory, tapping into the innate human aspiration to be the first or best at something.
Very often, especially in getting to those essential elements of a moonshot, a reframe is required. A reframing of our perspective. A reframe in how we do, of how we think, of how we work, and even of how we dream.
Out of this reframe, it’s our big questions that become the driver that naturally uncovers our Moonshot…
They move us from the urgent to the important. They allow us to engage greater empathy and compassion along the way. They help us to iterate our way forward, determining when a pivot or shift may be necessary or required. They help us to erect ladders over our barriers and bore holes in our walls. They move us from “yes, but” to “yes, and” thinking. They open the door to more experimental, discovery learning (which we could all use a bit more of). They continually serve as slingshots to our Moonshots.
We don’t get a lot of chances to do something truly great in this world…
Finding your Moonshot is that chance, just don’t let it pass you by.
“A moonshot is the antidote to the gravitational pull of day-to-day burdens. It requires people to discard their business-as-usual habits, and unites them in a collective endeavor to achieve something extraordinary. In the process, the teams and leaders who set out on the mission are transformed through the moonshot effect.” -Goldman and Purmal The Moonshot Effect: Disrupting Business As Usual
So, what’s your Moonshot?