Words by Mary Freer
“Why focus on moonshot thinking? Isn’t it enough to work harder to collectively solve problems to make the progress we need? Actually, no, not really. Because we might be solving the wrong problems.”
Astro Teller, CEO of Google X
It’s easier to make something 10% better than it is to make something 10X better. Why? Because tinkering with problems and adding to already existing models for improvement around a definition of a problem that has already been defined might be all about solving the wrong problem. Making something 10X better requires bravery, creativity and effort way beyond our comfortable reach.
This is where moonshot thinking comes in. Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google [x] thinks that moonshots can be recognised by three components:
- Choosing a big problem that has existed for a long time;
- Articulating a radical solution that if it existed would solve the problem – a solution that might seem crazy
- Finding some evidence that the solution is not quite as crazy as it sounds; something that suggests it deserves at least a close look.
When Freerthinking teamed up with AIPFCC to think about the long standing and deeply tragic problem of workplace bullying and intimidation we proposed a radical solution: kindness and respect articulated across the healthcare culture. We found evidence that suggested that kinder healthcare teams were actually safer. We invited others to work with us to find ways of realising a solution.
The Gathering of Kindness is our moonshot.
Two days, 100 people, talking and listening, developing possible ways forward; mapping out the terrain and all the while re-naming the problem and testing solutions.
Every day as we move closer to the 31st March I have more reasons to trust that this process will be worth every moment of our time. I applaud those people who have registered to attend this event and who even now are preparing themselves for the work ahead of them.
“So we should make sure those who have been brave enough to enter this kind of race have us there beside them … Celebrating the audacity itself, regardless of whether they ultimately succeed.”
Putting our hand up to be part of radical change isn’t easy. The easy bit is to scoff, or dismiss. That requires no action and risks nothing. But showing up, saying ‘I’m in’ before there is any hint of success – that’s the team I want to be on.