• The ManageUp Team

Moonshots 101: SQUEEZE - The 5 Attributes of a High-Performance Organization

To achieve the near-impossible, organizations must embody these qualities that drive results amidst challenges.

Organizational moonshots are target goals that are so ideal and challenging that they are nearly impossible to achieve. When reached, however, they lead to highly improved performance and other significant outcomes .

Inspired by the Apollo 11 space mission, moonshot thinking is the driving force that ultimately leads to continuous process improvement by learning from failure. When then-President Kennedy first announced the goal in his speech at Rice University in 1962, reaching the moon seemed unrealistic and far-fetched.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

The bright young minds of the time responded to the challenge with not only a ferocious belief in what was possible, but also a dedication to making it happen. Undeterred by overwhelming odds and obstacles, moonshot thinking empowered their collaborative and creative efforts, and they became open-minded to the lessons of failures.

Less than a decade later, man landed on the moon and safely returned to earth for the first time in human history. The success of the mission can largely be attributed to the ability of the entire team, leaders and workers alike, to work together. The teamwork and improvement processes that characterized the success of Apollo 11 have since changed the way organizations across the globe carry out process improvement and project management.

SQUEEZE - The 5 qualities that drive results in an organization

Let’s take a look at some of the main attributes of Apollo 11 team that have positively influenced today’s organizations:

  • A clear vision with SAFETY and QUALITY as the priority

President Kennedy approved the mission with one clear objective: the team was to ensure a safe landing on the Moon and a safe return to Earth. Safety was apparent throughout the entire endeavor despite costing $20 billion USD, 8 years worth of time, and energy spent by over 400,000 workers.

Developing, delivering, and sustaining safety and quality until the objective was met has set a new standard for creating high reliability, satisfaction, and success for clients – including the President of the United States.

  • EFFECTIVENESS as the guiding principle

The Apollo 11 mission was conceptualized more than a decade before it became a reality. The time between its conceptualization and realization was characterized by countless failed experiments, numerous challenges in manpower, technology, and experimentation; and even tragic deaths. Although tragic, these failures served as opportunities to learn and acquire optimum effectiveness.

  • EFFICIENCY as a product of exemplary leadership, technology, thorough planning and continuous process improvement

NASA’s evaluations after the Apollo 11 mission led them to conclude that the efficiency of the execution of the project was the direct result of thorough planning, an excellent performing spacecraft, and precise maneuvering by the entire team, including the astronauts on board and leaders providing guidance on earth.

  • And ZEST (or morale) as the sustaining power source

Around 400,000 workers labored to make this mission a success, which called for constant around the clock effort, years of sleepless nights, and missed family occasions and events. What kept the team going? What sustained them?

They labored with the thought that their effort was for something much greater than themselves, their families, and their neighbors. For them, it was part of realizing a farfetched childhood dream that grew into a nationwide effort. Despite the sacrifices and difficulties, the workers consistently considered their participation in this project very memorable.

These SQUEEZE - (S)afety, (QU)ality, (E)ffectiveness, (E)fficiency and (Z)est attributes can serve as a framework for every organizational transformation. With the universal goal of improving performance through moonshots, ManageUP has changed the way it organizes high-quality services to its clients.

SQUEEZE serves as the motivating force and guiding principle that drives performance, while creating an engaging workplace culture. Do you want to achieve your organization’s moonshots? Simply sign up, and we'll take you for a spin. Sign-up, Set-up, and ManageUP. It's as is easy as 1, 2, 3.


APOLLO 11 The Fifth Mission: The First Lunar Landing 16 July–24 July 1969

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