Moon Shots

A global community of management renegades

How can we harness the collective wisdom and talent of our community?

I started Moon Shots on an impuse that was triggered by Gary Hamel's article, Moon Shots for Management, which appeared in the February 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review. In fact, at the moment I created the Ning website, I hadn't even read the actual article, only the summary that's on the HBR site. It was a spur-of-the-moment action. There was no vision and no grand plan.

That was little more than a month ago. Since then, 121 people have joined Moon Shots, including five of the "renegade brigade" whose deliberations formed the basis of Gary Hamel's article. And now I'm wondering how we might harness the collective wisdom and talent of our community.

I'm aware that people joined for different reasons. My hunch is that some did so just to see who else was here. Some were curious to find out what was being discussed. Some wanted a platform for their cherished ideas. Some hoped to find new clients for their consulting practices. And some wanted to be active members of a community that believes, as Gary Hamel does, that:

“‘Modern’ management, much of which dates back to the late nineteenth century, has reached the limits of improvement. Equipping organizations to tackle the future requires a management revolution no less momentous than the one that spawned modern industry.”

What was your reason for joining Moon Shots?

Was it curiosity? If so, you now know who's here and what they're saying, and you might like to review your membership of the community.

Was it to get yourself a platform for your pet ideas? If so, you've probably done that by now, and you might like to review your membership of the community.

Was it to find new clients for your consulting practice? If so, you've probably discovered that the community consists mainly of consultants and academics, and you might like to review your membership of the community.

Was it to be an active member of a community? If so, please take a moment to consider how we might harness the collective wisdom and talent of our community, and post your thoughts below.

And, if you haven't already done so, upload a photo and write something about yourself on "My Page". I'm trusting everyone to do this. I don't have the time, the energy or even the inclination to be the membership conditions cop.

If the Moon Shots website has served its purpose and we have no further work to do together, so be it - I'll close the site down.

However, if there is still useful work that we can do as a community, I'm happy to keep the site going and serve as its steward.

Please contribute your comments now, before other matters demand your attention.

Warm thanks,


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I'm still interested in the idea, but get put off when people talk in "old management" language

I've been helping corporations and non-profits co-create for the past 20 years and I'm not concerned about the skeptics, nor am I much interested in supporting data.

Promise's Roy Langmaid has been doing his Big Talk thing since the 1990s. The methodology is in his book, Breakthrough Zone. It's very formulaic - not my way of doing things - but it seems to work for him (my friend and colleague Mo Cohen of this parish was once Roy's business partner), so good luck to him.

Promise has its roots in marketing and design, and there's a tendency in that world to bang the drum very loudly. Again, not my style, but different strokes for different folks.

Elsewhere people are just quietly getting on with it.

Hi Jack,

Thanks for the question, which is a good one. I always try to keep a hold of my purpose in whatever I'm doing, and find that the clearer we are about it, the better things tend to work out.

I like Justin's reply below, and am interested in the people who have been drawn to the Moon Shots idea. My main reason for being here is summarised by the title of this discussion - and the challenge I'm just beginning to resolve, is how to keep the radar working well in a whole range of different spaces, take what I need, and give what I can without being overwhelmed.

SO - how will I be in this space? I'm likely to skim things that come to my attention when the moonshots site beckons via an e-mail. Then I'm likely to reply if I feel it necessary, important or both. I base myself in the wiserearth site (far from perfect in function, but important in the big scheme of things to my mind), and update Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Plaxo from
Ideally, I'd be able to contribute and share info between Ning sites in a similar way, but I don't know how to do that.

Overall, I'm looking for 1) great ideas I can use; 2) great actions I can take as a result of 1), and 3) people who are prepared to keep sharing their progress and learning.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Mike Zeidler
Hi Jack,

It would be a pity when closing down the website. The topic is evident as ever and 120 people can't be all who sense the urgency.

Perhaps moving tonather forum like the would be an alternative.

What made me join?

Moderating and working around the issues of lean thinking (not the management using the tools!) made me sense that the true cause of the problem is strongly embedded in the system itself and how management is driving it from within a very closed and inner-circle like environment.

Of course it is everybody's free will to chose whether to move on or leave "it".

When we stop growing the seeds in our fields of change there probably never will spring up what we search for most.

A farmer who is planting cherry trees never will get cherries for the first couple of years - whould he abandon everything then?

Best regards

Dear Joanna,

You are right about "old management" language - there probably is an oscillating force that draws us often back into our old and well-known fields of working, management and language.

We have to live with both worlds, even when we feel pretty uneasy with "old style" and yet we have to bring the people on board who are not convinced that change is possible (even though they also which for the change).

Just let us continue talking and I am pretty sure we will find the "cracks" in the system that will enable us to change the system:-))

Theory U by Otto Scharmer gives some good advices on that.

Best regards

HI Jack!
Coming from Sweden and a non-narrative English speaker I asked one of my American friend what "Moon-shots" meant before I joined in. And the explanation I got made me interested - I interpreted it as something like aiming for the future - the horizon i.e being on the edge of management and evolution for organizations and society. That is what I am interested in - how can we learn from eachother, share, discuss, doubt or whatever together to move forward. As a bit the Open Space list can be sometimes. That was and is my reason. And maybe I will not be as active as writing everyday - maybe I will be a listener - but i know that I will learn and contribute whenever my passion is there.
That's my two cents..
Justin, may I ask you to explain what you mean when you say: "it's worth bearing in mind that Gary Hamel was a cheerleader of Enron"? Yes, Enron was a client of Strategos, the consulting firm that Hamel founded, and the company is referenced throughout his book Leading the Revolution, but how is that relevant to this discussion?
Hello again Justin.

I've got no problem whatsoever with the points you make. It's just that, speaking personally rather than as the initiator of this website, I'm not very scientifically minded and don't have much interest in a scientific, evidence-based approach to organisational life. If others have a passion for this, that's great. Thank goodness we're not all the same.

If I remember rightly, the first forum topic on Moon Shots was the one Johnnie Moore started: Reinventing. Johnnie wrote: "Ok, maybe we could do with forgetting the idea of reinventing management. I think the truth is already out there but might need us to pay more attention." When I first saw that I was a bit shocked, as I thought Moon Shots was a place for people in favour of reinventing. But Johnnie sparked a very rich discussion with 22 comments.

So I want to put it on record that you, Johnnie and any other sceptics are very welcome!
Franciska, in answer to your question, I'm not someone who has expectations.

Truth be told, Moon Shots started life as a Gary Hamel fan site.

I've admired his work for many years. I worked alongside his old company, Strategos, at Shell, and learnt a lot about game-changing innovation. As well as being a brilliant thinker and wonderful communicator, he's a great operator in business. We once competed for a big contract (not with Shell) and when Strategos won the pitch I was as every bit as happy as I was disappointed. If I had to choose a business competitor it would be the old Hamel-led Strategos.

To give you an idea of just how spur-of-the-moment the creation of Moon Shots was, I read the synopsis of the HBR article and a couple of hours later the embryonic site was up and running. I called it Moon Shots because I couldn't think of a better name and was impatient to get the site started. Patience has never been one of my strong points!

Now that Moon Shots has 123 members I'd like to find a way to harness this pool of talent to help reinvent management practice so that leaders can create organisations that are fit to house the human spirit. That's not an expectation - it's a heartfelt desire.

I hope I've answered the question to your satisfaction.
Hi Willa, i felt a strong response to your words. thank you.
Hi Willa, yes fully positive! And i find myself rethinking your input over and over again..
"putting our eyes on that future as it wants to be born, evolving our ability to listen, observe and sense, and giving the best of our intentions to implicate ourselves in the huge change that needs to happen."
I feel that these abilities are fundamental in our collective endeavour.
Best wishes
Jack: I came to this site because I was invigorated on reading Hamel's article and wanted to find a place in which to dicuss the issues raised. Through these discussions, both the ones I have taken part in and those I have read, I have been able to clarify my thoughts on management and innovation almost as much as through conversations with colleagues and friends. I believe that the value of this site lies in keeping the Monn-Shot Ronin energised and focused on their goals of change as they carry on their work in the business world, so that they can work to bring the ideas generated here to life. If one person is able to come back and report on an activity which was instigated by these ideas, then this site will have achieved something.


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