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| 2 minutes read

How leaders can trigger large scale change - lessons from the space race.

 We're all facing huge changes now and there is a need for leaders to help their firms overcome paralysis and adapt. For leaders needing to drive change, or that find themselves further behind, there is an interesting story from humanity's greatest endeavour.

To set the scene, its April 1961, the US is falling behind in the space race. Yuri Gargarin has become the first man in space and the US is yet to achieve meaningful success in the "space race".

The US President, John F Kennedy, sees his nation falling behind and asks 5 key questions to his Vice President. He wants to light a fire under the space program (excuse the pun).

1. Where do we have a chance of beating the Soviets?

2. How much would it cost?

3. Are we working to our fullest capacity on current winners? If not then why not?

4. In our most critical area, where should our key focus be?

5. In this endeavour, are we doing the best that we possibly could and are we seeing results?

In September JFK gives his now-famous "man on the moon" speech. Publicly announcing an audacious goal to the world and setting the stage for the "space race". On 16th July, 8 short years later,  two men whose names you definitely know would walk on the moon.

The first step in putting a man on the moon happened with five simple questions. As much as it was solid-fuel rockets and trigonometry that put Mr Armstrong and Mr Aldrin on the moon - it was leadership and commitment.

What does this mean for firms?

Many firms will see themselves falling behind the key issue of the day. When you can see the rest of the field beating you to key milestones there is still an ability to catch up.

Before JFK asked those five key questions, the US was comprehensively losing the space race, they were years and years behind the Soviets and looked to be losing the battle for space.

Kennedy's 5 questions and his commitment to getting answers kicked the US space program into gear. 8 years later they accomplished the unthinkable.

What is your issue of the moment? Your space race? It might be to conquer a new offering, master digital client engagement or become the pre-eminent marketing team in the field. 

Ask yourself and your team some tough questions. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.

"This is an extraordinary time, and we face extraordinary challenges" - John F Kennedy


content marketing, b2b marketing, e2e