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This week’s riff: I must admit that up until a week ago I had never heard of the Rosetta satellite, the Philae space probe or even Comet 67P. All that’s changed, however, and I am blown away by the fact that humans have been able to send a rocket on a 10 year journey of over 4 billion miles to land on a small, rotating, duck-shaped piece of rock that’s only 2 miles wide and is travelling at 40,000 miles per hour 350 million miles from earth.

In last week’s riff, I suggested that giant leaps result from a series of smaller steps. The successful landing of Philae on 67P is a great example. Scientists first started planning the project 25 years ago, and step-by-step have been able to find solutions to all the issues and problems that they will inevitably have faced.

The project may not achieve all of its objectives, but in my eyes it has already been a stunning success. And the most important step in this venture was to define and commit to the goal of landing a probe on the comet to carry out scientific tests. Only then could the team organize and deliver the project. Too many business initiatives flounder because they have unclear, fuzzy goals that, in turn, deliver weak results.

What are the clear, specific and ambitious goals that you are committing to on your own particular ‘space missions’, and what are the steps you’re taking to ensure that you successfully shoot for the stars?

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Off The Record: Sleeping Satellite by Tasmin Archer

And when we shoot for the stars

What a giant step

Have we got what it takes

To carry the weight of this concept?

Or pass it by like a shot in the dark

Miss the mark

With a sense of adventure

© Stuart Cross 2014. All rights reserved.