This week, we saw SpaceX launch their first Falcon Heavy booster, the world’s most powerful rocket. For SpaceX, this is another step in their strategy of taking space exploration and transportation to a whole new level; and surely to be applauded? Well, not for some. It was decried by many as a brand stunt – with a Tesla car leading the charge into space.
One thing is for sure, the publicity has been amazing. A Tesla car flying through space. What would any brand give to make headlines like that?
Of course, it will sell a few cars; but possibly a bigger impact will be on the reputation of Musk, SpaceX and Tesla. Not simply disruptors, but adventurers, explorers, charging into new frontiers and succeeding. And that makes these organisations possibly the most attractive organisations on earth for ambitious tech, science and business professionals.
Of course, very few organisations can afford to send a car into space; but you can create a pioneering spirit and do things that inspire customers and colleagues alike. Here are some thoughts on how:
Don’t keep looking at the competition – far too many businesses still take their lead from the competition, and that in itself means that the competition is leading, not them. Look at other sectors. Look at the true pioneers. Take a leaf from their book. Just don’t try to micmic them.
Dream big – okay, so you’ve not got Elon Musk’s money, but you can still dream big for your sector or market. ‘What if’ is a great question to ask yourself and your colleagues – and it makes you think again about what would really make the difference to your reputation, in the eyes of customers and colleagues. Because who doesn’t want to be associated with a pioneer, rather than a plodder?!
Get behind a purpose or proposition – too often the purpose or proposition is hardly inspiring. Of course, it doesn’t have to be world-changing; but it should be at the very least something which is about shifting the market, rather than just playing to an audience.
Follow through – in all areas of your business, be pioneering. Keep asking yourself if things have to be done like this or that. Jeff Bezos introduced the concept of ‘day one’ into Amazon, keeping people focused on new thinking by driving the principle that it should always feel like day one.
Okay, so is this easy? No. It takes a plan. It won’t happen overnight. And it requires people to be brave. Especially leaders, who suddenly have to allow their people to show their pioneering spirit. But we can all be pioneers. Because if we’re not pushing what can be done, surely we will soon be left behind. So here’s to sending your organisation into space!