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Volume 4 | Issue
May-June 2024
Viewpoint
Building Moonshots
In today's rapidly evolving world, many industries have experienced disruption or are
on the cusp of one. While organisations often discuss the importance of innovation
and disruption for growth, it's not uncommon to find ourselves defaulting to familiar
patterns and maintaining the status quo. To thrive amidst this change, businesses of
all sizes must adopt strategic foresight not as an option but as an essential strategy.
Developing strategic foresight enables organizations to anticipate and proactively
respond to future challenges, ensuring they remain adaptable and resilient in an ever-
changing landscape. By moving beyond "business as usual" thinking and embracing
innovative approaches, companies can position themselves for long-term success. So,
the key question is,
“How do we develop strategic foresight which allows us
to go beyond the obvious and help us continue to thrive
in the future?”
Innomantra’s Foresight & Strategic Innovation practice is focused on helping
organisations to future-proof their businesses through scenario mapping, trend-based
ideation and capability building for teams in pursuit of radical innovation, driving
long-term success and sustainability.
Moonshot Thinking is a key strategy in our toolkit, enabling organisations to
transform their approach to challenges and cultivate an environment that embraces
bold questioning. Our recent Blitz Masterclass, designed for innovation leaders across
various organizations, focused on Building Moonshots. It was led by Tamara Carleton,
PhD, an award-winning professor, industry advisor, and author of "Building
Moonshots," specialising in radical innovation and strategic foresight.
This article covers the key learnings and insights along with our perspectives on
developing Moonshot Thinking within organisations.
What is Moonshot Thinking?
Humans have long been fascinated and motivated by imagining the almost impossible
and then making it happen. Think about the time when the vision to land on the
moon was announced. It was the year 1962 at Rice University, the then American
President John F. Kennedy told the country about a dream he had. A dream to put a
person on the moon by the end of the decade. This was the moonshot moment for
the world.
What
If?
Innovating in three
horizons helps
companies to deliver
solutions (near term),
build opportunities
(mid term), and
develop perspective
(long term).
2
No one knew if it was possible to do but he made sure a plan was put in place to
explore the probability of not just landing on the moon but coming back to Earth as
well. That's how great dreams are. They are not just visions, they are visions coupled
with strategies for making them real.
Moonshot Thinking can be defined as an approach to choosing a huge problem and
proposing a radical solution to that problem using disruptive technology. The key
characteristics of a moonshot are:
• Ambitious and innovative goals that seem almost impossible.
• Requires extensive resources, expertise, and collaboration.
• High-risk, high-reward nature, accepting the possibility of failure.
Sounds good, but how do we begin? By asking the “What if?” questions.
Asking “What if?”
Have you ever asked a question that caused laughter or uncomfortable silence? How
many brilliant ideas remain unspoken due to the fear of seeming foolish? In
professional settings, we often strive to appear knowledgeable, suppressing our
curiosity and creativity. However, we must embrace the courage to ask
unconventional questions, as they can shift perspectives and propel us forward.
"What if?" is an invitation to explore new possibilities, encouraging us to envision a
different future beyond our current ways. It challenges us to consider alternative
approaches, inspiring innovation and growth.
The advent of autonomous vehicles exemplifies the power of "What if?" thinking. At
some point, an individual pondered, "What if cars could drive autonomously without
human intervention?" This question set in motion a journey that spanned decades,
with various companies and innovators working tirelessly to make it a reality. Today,
we witness this vision materializing through Tesla's autonomous cars and Waymo's
self-driving taxi fleet—a testament to the potential of daring to ask, "What if?"
Since we are talking about moonshots, failure is an integral part of the equation.
How do we deal with it? Identify the “failure moment”.
The “Failure Moment”
Recalling the moon landing example, sending objects or people thousands of miles
into space demands billions of dollars and countless professionals. With over 50% of
moon missions failing, it's clear why "moonshot" symbolises an endeavour that
pushes the boundaries of innovation in business, science, or policy. And being
comfortable with failure is the key.
When we talk about taking bold bets, failure is a part of the discovery process and
identifying the “failure moment” is the key. The term ”failure moment” has been
coined by Astro Teller, the head of Google X, Google’s Moonshot factory.
Failure
3
The concept of a "failure moment" can be understood as a pivotal point in time
when it becomes evident that a project or idea has not achieved its intended
objectives or outcomes. While this term may initially carry a negative connotation,
it's crucial to recognise that a failure moment doesn't necessarily equate to a
complete loss or setback. Instead, it can be viewed as a turning point that presents
an opportunity for learning, growth, and re-evaluation.
The perspective shift is what it's all about. That is
why going 10 times bigger is more important and
works better than going 10% bigger.
A “failure moment” may occur due to various reasons, such as unrealistic
expectations, inadequate planning, poor execution, technological feasibility, and
much more. Regardless of the cause, it's essential to approach these moments with
introspection and open-mindedness.
It’s all about Organisational Culture
It's evident that Moonshot Thinking is not solely a strategic approach but is also
deeply intertwined with organisational culture. By embedding Moonshot Thinking
into the fabric of our organisations, we can transform how we tackle challenges and
cultivate an environment that nurtures failure moments.
Companies that recognise the significance of creativity and innovation are better
equipped to adapt and thrive. To achieve this transformative shift in organisational
culture, leaders must encourage employees and partners to:
• Challenge the status quo.
• Embrace bold ideas.
• Think beyond incremental improvements.
• Provide resources and opportunities for learning and experimentation.
Embark on a journey with us to explore Moonshot Thinking and Foresight Strategy,
paving the way for your business's long-term success. Together, we can uncover
exponential possibilities and propel innovation to new heights.
Let’s co-create innovation through the "Building Moonshots" way!
Author:
Sajid Khetani
Principal - Foresight & Strategic Innovation Practice
sajid@innomantra.com
Culture
4
About Innomantra
Innomantra is a leading Digital, Innovation, and Intellectual property management
advisory, consulting and services firm. It helps organizations to design and achieve their
digital strategy from idea to implementation, Innovation Management Systems, and
Intellectual property goals by enhancing culture for amplified efficiency and
exponential growth.Innovation3x and Discover Design Thinking describe the philosophy
which it believes in, that innovative organizations must identify innovation goals that
seek to achieve a 3x and beyond to boost their performance. Innomantra's signature
three-fold approach to innovation that looks at overall business strategy, people, and
functional systems in a digital ecosystem is globally recognized. Innomantra has a wide
range of 50+ clients range from small and medium businesses to Fortune Global 500
organizations. It has a strategic alliance with global leaders in Digital and Innovation.
Innomantra is headquartered in Bengaluru, India, and has a global presence.
Innomantra Consulting Private Limited
Level 9, Raheja Towers
Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bengaluru - 560 001, India
Mobile: +91 98452 72555
+91 080 41253444
contact@innomantra.com
www.innomantra.com
2024© Innomantra Consulting Private Limited
Connect
Created b y WEBTECHOPS LLP
from the Noun Project

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Innomantra Viewpoint - Building Moonshots : May-Jun 2024.pdf

  • 1. 1 Volume 4 | Issue May-June 2024 Viewpoint Building Moonshots In today's rapidly evolving world, many industries have experienced disruption or are on the cusp of one. While organisations often discuss the importance of innovation and disruption for growth, it's not uncommon to find ourselves defaulting to familiar patterns and maintaining the status quo. To thrive amidst this change, businesses of all sizes must adopt strategic foresight not as an option but as an essential strategy. Developing strategic foresight enables organizations to anticipate and proactively respond to future challenges, ensuring they remain adaptable and resilient in an ever- changing landscape. By moving beyond "business as usual" thinking and embracing innovative approaches, companies can position themselves for long-term success. So, the key question is, “How do we develop strategic foresight which allows us to go beyond the obvious and help us continue to thrive in the future?” Innomantra’s Foresight & Strategic Innovation practice is focused on helping organisations to future-proof their businesses through scenario mapping, trend-based ideation and capability building for teams in pursuit of radical innovation, driving long-term success and sustainability. Moonshot Thinking is a key strategy in our toolkit, enabling organisations to transform their approach to challenges and cultivate an environment that embraces bold questioning. Our recent Blitz Masterclass, designed for innovation leaders across various organizations, focused on Building Moonshots. It was led by Tamara Carleton, PhD, an award-winning professor, industry advisor, and author of "Building Moonshots," specialising in radical innovation and strategic foresight. This article covers the key learnings and insights along with our perspectives on developing Moonshot Thinking within organisations. What is Moonshot Thinking? Humans have long been fascinated and motivated by imagining the almost impossible and then making it happen. Think about the time when the vision to land on the moon was announced. It was the year 1962 at Rice University, the then American President John F. Kennedy told the country about a dream he had. A dream to put a person on the moon by the end of the decade. This was the moonshot moment for the world. What If? Innovating in three horizons helps companies to deliver solutions (near term), build opportunities (mid term), and develop perspective (long term).
  • 2. 2 No one knew if it was possible to do but he made sure a plan was put in place to explore the probability of not just landing on the moon but coming back to Earth as well. That's how great dreams are. They are not just visions, they are visions coupled with strategies for making them real. Moonshot Thinking can be defined as an approach to choosing a huge problem and proposing a radical solution to that problem using disruptive technology. The key characteristics of a moonshot are: • Ambitious and innovative goals that seem almost impossible. • Requires extensive resources, expertise, and collaboration. • High-risk, high-reward nature, accepting the possibility of failure. Sounds good, but how do we begin? By asking the “What if?” questions. Asking “What if?” Have you ever asked a question that caused laughter or uncomfortable silence? How many brilliant ideas remain unspoken due to the fear of seeming foolish? In professional settings, we often strive to appear knowledgeable, suppressing our curiosity and creativity. However, we must embrace the courage to ask unconventional questions, as they can shift perspectives and propel us forward. "What if?" is an invitation to explore new possibilities, encouraging us to envision a different future beyond our current ways. It challenges us to consider alternative approaches, inspiring innovation and growth. The advent of autonomous vehicles exemplifies the power of "What if?" thinking. At some point, an individual pondered, "What if cars could drive autonomously without human intervention?" This question set in motion a journey that spanned decades, with various companies and innovators working tirelessly to make it a reality. Today, we witness this vision materializing through Tesla's autonomous cars and Waymo's self-driving taxi fleet—a testament to the potential of daring to ask, "What if?" Since we are talking about moonshots, failure is an integral part of the equation. How do we deal with it? Identify the “failure moment”. The “Failure Moment” Recalling the moon landing example, sending objects or people thousands of miles into space demands billions of dollars and countless professionals. With over 50% of moon missions failing, it's clear why "moonshot" symbolises an endeavour that pushes the boundaries of innovation in business, science, or policy. And being comfortable with failure is the key. When we talk about taking bold bets, failure is a part of the discovery process and identifying the “failure moment” is the key. The term ”failure moment” has been coined by Astro Teller, the head of Google X, Google’s Moonshot factory. Failure
  • 3. 3 The concept of a "failure moment" can be understood as a pivotal point in time when it becomes evident that a project or idea has not achieved its intended objectives or outcomes. While this term may initially carry a negative connotation, it's crucial to recognise that a failure moment doesn't necessarily equate to a complete loss or setback. Instead, it can be viewed as a turning point that presents an opportunity for learning, growth, and re-evaluation. The perspective shift is what it's all about. That is why going 10 times bigger is more important and works better than going 10% bigger. A “failure moment” may occur due to various reasons, such as unrealistic expectations, inadequate planning, poor execution, technological feasibility, and much more. Regardless of the cause, it's essential to approach these moments with introspection and open-mindedness. It’s all about Organisational Culture It's evident that Moonshot Thinking is not solely a strategic approach but is also deeply intertwined with organisational culture. By embedding Moonshot Thinking into the fabric of our organisations, we can transform how we tackle challenges and cultivate an environment that nurtures failure moments. Companies that recognise the significance of creativity and innovation are better equipped to adapt and thrive. To achieve this transformative shift in organisational culture, leaders must encourage employees and partners to: • Challenge the status quo. • Embrace bold ideas. • Think beyond incremental improvements. • Provide resources and opportunities for learning and experimentation. Embark on a journey with us to explore Moonshot Thinking and Foresight Strategy, paving the way for your business's long-term success. Together, we can uncover exponential possibilities and propel innovation to new heights. Let’s co-create innovation through the "Building Moonshots" way! Author: Sajid Khetani Principal - Foresight & Strategic Innovation Practice sajid@innomantra.com Culture
  • 4. 4 About Innomantra Innomantra is a leading Digital, Innovation, and Intellectual property management advisory, consulting and services firm. It helps organizations to design and achieve their digital strategy from idea to implementation, Innovation Management Systems, and Intellectual property goals by enhancing culture for amplified efficiency and exponential growth.Innovation3x and Discover Design Thinking describe the philosophy which it believes in, that innovative organizations must identify innovation goals that seek to achieve a 3x and beyond to boost their performance. Innomantra's signature three-fold approach to innovation that looks at overall business strategy, people, and functional systems in a digital ecosystem is globally recognized. Innomantra has a wide range of 50+ clients range from small and medium businesses to Fortune Global 500 organizations. It has a strategic alliance with global leaders in Digital and Innovation. Innomantra is headquartered in Bengaluru, India, and has a global presence. Innomantra Consulting Private Limited Level 9, Raheja Towers Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bengaluru - 560 001, India Mobile: +91 98452 72555 +91 080 41253444 contact@innomantra.com www.innomantra.com 2024© Innomantra Consulting Private Limited Connect Created b y WEBTECHOPS LLP from the Noun Project