John Schwartz of the NY Times recently challenged readers in his latest article to consider if the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing could be a metaphor for the type of effort required to galvanize governments, corporations and humanity into successfully confronting the most fundamental issue facing our existence – “the grinding destructiveness of a warming planet” – climate change.
For the American space effort that was competing neck and neck with the Soviet Union for supremacy, it started with a clearly defined and inspiring goal: Land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
John Schwartz references John Logsdon, a space program historian, who noted four conditions were required to land on the moon, arguably humankind’s greatest achievement.
- Powerful stimulus – a “singular act that would force action that you could not ignore”
- Leaders empowered to direct the necessary resources to meet the goal on a “war-like basis”
- Deep pockets – people, financial, technology
- An objective that was “technically feasible”
The metaphor can be easily extended to any fundamental change or transformation initiative confronting a business leader or organization. What is your moonshot and what is your approach to achieving your goal?