Why Corporates Should Build a Moonshot Factory (by Astro Teller?)

Saturday, 10th February 2017

Dear Astro,

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.

Cheers,
Col

Sunday, 11th February 2017

Dear Colin,

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!

Astro

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?

Simple.

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?

Astro presenting at Abundance 360 2018 at the Beverly Hills Hilton

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

Idea for book cover

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

Antifragility

Black Box Thinking

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

Organisations that lack a purpose beyond profit will not survive

The power of purpose

Exponential Organisations

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)

Self-determination

Removing ego

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

Case studies

15 PREMORTEMS

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

Fibonacci tables

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

Collaboration toolkits

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

Working hours

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

Conclusions

Reference materials

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

NEXT STEPS

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.

CEO of The Equinox