Why Corporates Should Build a Moonshot Factory (by Astro Teller?)
Saturday, 10th February 2017
A huge thank you for encouraging me to post this article. That fact alone reaffirms my belief that the book ‘Why Corporates Should Build a Moonshot Factory (and how to do it)’ needs to be written and needs to be written by you.
Sunday, 11th February 2017
Good for you for pushing on this. I’m very curious to see how people respond and who knows, maybe it will inspire me to write the book after all.
Or perhaps your article will cause the book to be crowd-source-written based on my online talks!
Dear Everyone Else,
To encourage Astro to put pen to paper, I’m sharing the basic outline of what his book should include. With enough ‘claps’, perhaps we might just get the book which is currently missing in Amazon’s business section later this year.
So ‘clap’ away if you want the book to be written. Even better, would be to clap away and add your comments back about what else should be included.
But first, I guess I need to introduce Astro Teller, so everyone who has not seen him in action, can decide.
Who is Astro Teller?
Astro Teller is the CEO of X, (formerly Google-X). His teams have done some incredible things over the years, but perhaps their most famous to date was the creation of the Google Car (Waymo), which carried out the first ever self-driving trip on public roads, without a steering wheel, pedals or test driver back in 2015.
If that’s not enough to encourage you to encourage him to write a book, check out his 2016 Ted talk on the benefits of celebrating failure. I’d rate this as one of the best. The fact it now has 2.4 million views suggests I’m not a minority.
Ok, he’s a cool guy, but how do we benefit from Astro writing a book on moonshots?
Don’t you want to know how to run high-performance teams that focus on designing products and services which benefit humanity and do it in a way which could be profitable as well?
Wouldn’t it also be interesting to get some insight to whether the impact of X is net positive for Alphabet?
By net positive, do we mean just profit, or are there other more powerful benefits for Alphabet?
Wouldn’t you like to know whether you can use some of X’s methodologies even in your day to day operations?
(btw ~ if your seriously not interested in any of these insights, lets connect as I’d love to try to understand why?)
How does Astro benefit from writing a book on moonshots?
If the purpose of X is to make the world a radically different place, then surely one of the easiest tools Astro can use is the written word?
If just a few hundred CEO’s are inspired, from reading his book, to try even some of his ideas, the net result is likely to be an improvement in lifestyle for millions of people somewhere on the planet?
How to Build a Corporate Moonshot Factory
So, here we go. My ideas on what I’d love to see in a book by Astro Teller about moonshots….
DRAFT 0.1 02/11/2018
1 INTRODUCTION SECTION
Who am I
Why I Wrote ‘How to Build a Corporate Moonshot Factory’
How did I get into moonshots
What are they
Why every CEO should have one
Introduction to what i covered in how chapters 2 to 4
2 HOW I GOT INTO THE MOONSHOT BUSINESS
What is a moonshot anyway (with examples and context to X) My journey to becoming CEO of The X-Company
How successful has The X-Company been
3 WHY CEO’s SHOULD BUILD A MOONSHOT FACTORY
The maths of a moonshots
The risk of not running moonshots is greater than the cost of doing them
How exponential technologies are making the maths of a moonshot more compelling
How organisations benefit when every moonshot fails
How it helps avoid cognitive dissonance
How it helps avoid ‘black box’ thinking
How it helps in identifying corporate blindspots
Why thinking big and crazy helps you to deliver simpler outcomes faster
Example collaborative references
4 THE SINGLE BIGGEST KILLER OF MOONSHOTS
Fear — “An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm”
Why fear is a more dangerous than a lack of people, capital, technology or any other resource
Why traditional orthodox business models increase levels of fear
The negative impact of societal norms (it’s a bigger issue than you realise)
The impact of fear on teams
Fear breeds fear, exponentially
(Conclusion- It has to be socially uncomfortable to be normal)
5 THE KEY INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MOONSHOT FACTORY SECTION
Introduction to how Chapters 5 to 25 cover the key ingredients of a successful moonshot factory with ‘fear eradication methods’ being a central theme throughout
6 YOU MUST HAVE A HIGHER PURPOSE THAN PROFIT
Don’t build a moonshot factory when the goal is profit. You’ll be less profitable if you do.
Why purposeful organisations outperform profit driven
Recent case studies (e.g. Blackrock Asset Management, Unilever)
Moonshots, MTP’s and Purpose
The X Company’s purpose
My purpose (and why I wrote the book)
How purpose improves decision making across teams
Why purpose allows cheaper access to capital
Collaborative References Examples
7 BUILDING A MOAT
Why The X Compay keeps secrets [it’s not an IP issue]
Tankers and wooden planks analogy
Protection from the corporate antibodies explained
The problem with expectation
8 HIRE AN ASTRO
Astro’s actual job title
What keeps Astro awake at night
What attributes should you look for in your moonshot manager
A/B testing your moonshot managers
9 IF YOU ARE A CEO, YOU NEED TO BE A LARRY PAGE OR SERGEY BIN
Why your moonshot manager should report directly to the CEO
The relationship between the CEO and the moonshot manager
How CEO’s should communicate with the moonshot team
How CEO’s should not interact with the moonshot team
10 SUCCESS MUST BE BASED ON WHATS LEARNT, NOT WHATS DELIVERED
One of the longer chapters as needs to consist of examples from X and other organisations, examples from psychology, comparisons between children, adults, and organisations.
11 REWARD FAILURE AND SUCCESS WILL COME
Defining positive fails v’s epic fails The journey to rewarding failure
Impact of rewarding failure
12 GIVE YOUR TEAMS THE ROPE TO HANG THEMSELVES (THEN PROMOTE THEM)
Detaching the person from the idea
13 I WISH PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE BEING PROMOTED (AND HOW I DEAL WITH IT)
The negative impact of promotion
How do determine high performers in a team-based environment
14 THE TRAPPINGS OF …… FAILURE
Trophies Front Desk Online content and marketing
What is a premortem?
The benefits of a premortem?
How to run a premortem?
Reviewing the premortem after a project is unsuccessful
16 PRIORITISATION METHODS — DECIDING WHICH IDEAS TO EXPLORE
Ideas that tackle huge problems, with radical solutions using breakthrough technologies, need only apply for funding.
Definitions of each component Examples of ideas that passed/failed the test How group sessions are run to decide which fails/passes
How often the project is retested these primary tests
17 PRIORITISATION METHODS — DECIDING WHICH ACTIONS TO TAKE FIRST
The monkey on the pedestal analogy
How different scoring mechanisms achieve different prioritisations
We use these three methods to reduce error
GV Design Sprints
18 PRIORITISATION METHODS — WHY YOU MUST KILL GOOD PROJECTS
Why good projects are the worst ones to continue with
How to identify good projects
How to kill good projects
19 REMEMBER, YOUR IDEA IS ALWAYS A BAD IDEA
Your idea will always always be a bad idea
Why you have to treat your idea as a bad idea, even if it is a good idea
How to remain dispassionate about your idea
Tips and tricks for running awesome ideation sessions
20 FOCUS ON THE GOAL NOT THE SOLUTION
Solving world hunger by knitting analogy
Examples of where The X Company have made mistakes
Examples of good pivots for successful projects
How do you know when you are too focused on the solution
21 PLAYING CARDS TO GENERATE AMAZING IDEAS
Book buyers will receive a free pack of The X Company innovation cards
22 THE HUGS AND KISSES MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK?
Summary and reinforcement of many of the statements around positive reinforcement that are covered in other chapters
Adds specific research on the topic (including case studies from impacts on children, adults and organisational productivity)
Summary of how The X Company provides directed positive reinforcement
Examples of common mistakes senior leaders make, which counteracts positive reinforcement (blindspots for most)
23 TOOLS AND MODELS WE USE
Communication and messaging toolkits
24 ENVIRONMENT AND ERGONOMICS
Location, layouts, seating plans, types of seating, desks, sounds and everything else we have ever thought about to try and improve engagement at The X Factory.
How we approach remote working
25 TIPS FOR CEO’S WHO WANT TO GET STARTED
So you’d like to build a moonshot factory but where do you start. If I could start over again, I’d do the following….
Selling the concept to your board
Testing support levels 2.18.3 Find your Astro
3 APPLYING MOONSHOTS CONCEPTS TO YOUR DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS SECTION
Section considers whether moonshot methods can be applied by business leaders to their existing operations. The answer is yes but. Yes, they can make improvements
But, the improvements will be more substantial when……
[more chapters to be added]
4.0 ENDING SECTION
Explanation of any models described within the book
Links to business networks that support moonshot thinking
Link to website where case studies and communities being developed
Offer to join The X Company mailing lists
If you, like me would like to see this book become a reality, please clap, share or comment back with your own ideas of what should be included.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin Iles is CEO of The Equinox the premier destination in Africa for leadership teams who want to develop strategies for an exponential world.
Originally published at www.coliniles.com on February 11, 2018.