What Happened to Gary Hamel’s Moon Shots?

When Gary Hamel wrote “Moon Shots for Management” for the February 2009 Harvard Business Review, it seemed like it would be a “shot heard ‘round the world” for business, according to Sue Todd, Chief Strategy Officer for CorpU. But why, Todd wonders, hasn’t it had more effect?

According to Todd, Hamel (who was recently ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker) outlined work by a team of business leaders and academicians in which they “created a roster of make-or-break challenges—management moon shots—that would focus the energies of management innovators everywhere.”

One imagines, says Todd, that this article might have prompted senior executives, HR professionals, talent managers, and leaders at all organizational strata to pause, reflect, and begin to ask, “How will we prepare for the future?”

But having done extensive research on organizational leadership, and talked with hundreds responsible for leadership development, Todd says it’s “safe to surmise” that six years later, firms are still casting about for ways to cope with a changing world. In particular, companies seem to have overlooked Hamel’s suggestion that “entrepreneurial genius” is the key to value creation. Entrepreneurship is still rarely identified as a leadership competency, and few organizations possess the knowledge to find and evaluate it in their executives.

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