Experimentation is the third Internal Attribute in the IDEAS acronym. In Chapter 4 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem. Also take a look at Exponential Transformation where you can learn about implementing Exponential Attributes in your current organisation.
Building a culture of experimentation is something that all companies should be striving towards. We have all heard the credo fail fast, fail forward. Silicon Valley was built on good failure and many business leaders have indicated that the ability to experiment and learn from failure is vital to their success. As John Seely Brown indicated in a commencement speech given at Singapore Management University, corporate architecture is setup to withstand risk and change and to scale efficiently and predictably, meaning that they create rather static environments. This is a very dangerous environment as it is prone to disruption from smaller more agile organisations that are using experimentation through the Lean approach together with Design Thinking.
I have taken the Lean Startup and Design Thinking approaches and combined them to create a model for experimentation to be built into an organisation culture. The Lean Startup Principles are:
- Entrepreneurs are Everywhere
- Entrepreneurship is Management
- Validated Learning
- Innovation Accounting
- Build-measure-learn Process
The Design Thinking Principles are:
- Human Centered
- Mindful of Process
- Culture of Prototyping
- Bias Toward Action
- Show Don’t Tell
- Radical Collaboration
So if you want to build a culture of experimentation in your organisation you need to understand these principles and implement them, the diagram below has taken the two frameworks and combined them into one. (The Lean Framework is here and the Design Thinking framework here)
Exponential Transformation outlines six steps to implement experimentation:
- Educate your team and align incentives
- Define your hypothesis and value proposition
- Build and execute experiments to evaluate your hypothesis
- Gather and analyse data from the results of the experiments
- Learn from the data
- Iterate your Approach
These six steps are essentially outlined in the above diagram. It is vital that the approach is data driven and scientific in nature rather than through intuition. It is time to start experimenting. If you start with ensuring that people understand the experimental culture and start with small things you will be able to get on the road to building a culture where experimentation is acceptable and therefore you can become the disruptor rather than being disrupted.
I love being an ally for equality. As I was saying to someone the other day, equality for me is when everyone has the opportunity to be who they are without any concern that they will be disadvantaged in any way. It is not about all being the same but celebrating our diversity. Society seems to find this difficult as it is always simpler to stick with what you know. But let us focus on solutions.As a White African Male, I feel it is important for me to speak out and say that we need to have a society where our diversity can be celebrated. Society is still skewed in the favour of elites, whether that be white males in South Africa, politically connected people in the USA or social elite in place-country-name-here. We need people to be honest and acknowledge what is going on. It may mean really awkward conversations but who doesn’t love a bit of awkwardness 😝
The world that we live in is plagued with a history of awful events, beliefs and societies that have shaped the way that we all see the world, interact with each other and well…. exist. We cannot go back in time in order to change what has happened, we can only use the past as a tool to learn from and not fall into the same trap.
We do seem to be falling into an equality trap though that may not be the best way to redress the evils of the past. A drive for being equal is the wrong way to go in my opinion. None of us are equal, we are all individuals. Not a single person on this planet has the same DNA, brainwave pattern (jury is potentially still out on this one), gait (the way we walk) or gut microbiome (there is some super interesting research into how this affects us but that is a story for another day). We should therefore focus on ensuring that people on the planet have the freedom to be who they are.
Is the answer not that people learn more about themselves? If people understand what drives them, how they can be their best self and they give others the ability to know the same will this not result in a more just society? A society that allows people to shine the light that is within them. The 21st century gives us the ability to use data to make much better decisions and it is about time that we do this with ourselves and our society as a whole.
Making decisions based on putting people into large boxes of race, sex, gender, etc. is not the way to create a society that thrives. What is likely to happen in this situation is to actually create more divides as people feel that their group is being overlooked. We have all heard people saying a number of different versions of “they only got that job/contract/etc. because of X” or “I did not get it because I am Y”. This is a hard problem to solve because our society is setup to keep the status quo going so I completely understand equality programs and as I said in the opening I am a supporter because I have seen first hand people being discriminated against due to societal norms and that is bullshit!
Perhaps we need to be highlighting more success stories, where diverse teams are more successful. We need to start portraying this diversity more in popular culture whether that be movies, TV, Social Media. I do believe that it needs to start with complete honesty and a greater willingness by people to understand people that are different to them!
What are your thoughts? How do we achieve SDG 5 and 10?
Shit is about to get real. I have made a decision that I am going to become more active in sharing online through this blog as well as through other mediums. The reason for this decision is that I have decided to move away from the certainty of a solid stable income (Working primarily with Wealth Migrate) to a life of more freedom to work longer hours… consulting in the Exponential and crowdfunding space and building a brand called PIONEERtribe. In the 21st Century business looks different from what many of us know and I know that I will remain within the ecosystem of sharing and abundance in which Wealth Migrate finds itself.
So you can expect to have regular sharing of exponential technologies, business strategies, travel, motivation, my life, my opinion, fun, etc. I am looking to grow a community of people that have the same values as myself and a vision of the 21st century that is good and focuses on benefiting the planet with ABUNDANCE.
PIONEERtribe is a community of 21st Century Entrepreneurs changing the way society functions:
- We are people who love technology and what it is doing to make the world a better place
- We are people who believe in abundance and look for the best in all situations
- We are problem solvers
- We are constantly learning
- We are global
- We are authentic
- We love to travel
- We are exponential thinkers
- We live with purpose
If this is something that excites you then let me know and I will see you on the journey. PIONEERtribe will be launched later this year with a bunch of content and sharing. For now I am building that up.
Here is to an amazing future that is full of opportunity for everyone. A future in which African economies are robust and technology is ubiquitous. A future that is community driven and full of excitement and fun!