‘A giant leap’ in 10 days

When Bob Williams, the director of the Hubble telescope, had the vision to point the telescope at an empty patch of sky for 10 days, everyone declared him crazy. It would be a mortal waste of extremely expensive and valuable telescope time. Worse, if nothing was found, it could become a PR scandal. What he hoped to see, Hubble would never be able to produce, experts predicted. 

Williams didn’t care about the reactions, and pursued his quirky idea. His mission: to get a core sample of the universe from an apparently empty patch of sky. There was a real risk they wouldn’t see anything at all, but Williams believed that this was their best shot at reigniting interest in the recently repaired telescope.

And so, the highly sophisticated telescope lens was opened for 100 hours and focused on a patch of sky the size of a grain of sand held out at arm’s length. After 10 days, the images came back. The results defied expectations. In that tiny point – just one 24-millionth of the whole sky – they saw 3000 galaxies, leading the eye and mind billions of years back in time. 

In just 10 days, Williams changed everything we thought we knew about the universe.

Vision as fuel

Bob Williams had drive, guts, thorough knowledge of his craft and foresight. He linked his concrete, idiosyncratic and challenging idea to the mission of the Space Telescope Science Institute, and placed it within a clear timeframe. He used his influence to the maximum and, despite all warnings and prejudices, took the plunge. That combination rocked the world!

The power of a vision is that it makes the mission tangible and manageable! 

A vision activates a driven energy, in people, in structures, and within processes. It leads to concrete action and better performance. A vision guarantees the impact with which the ultimate return is achieved. If you want to strengthen and accelerate the right to exist and the appeal of your company and/or team in the coming years, investing in an idiosyncratic vision is key.