Clean Thinking, Problem Solving

Responsible experimentation on the job

There is often an unwritten rule in the workplace:

There is one right way to do something, and a million wrong ways to do something.

Unfortunately, I think some have misinterpreted this to mean that the established protocols and procedures must be the one right way. But what if they’re not?

A healthier and more growth-mindset approach would be to say:

There is the best way we’ve discovered so far, and a million ways we’ve tried that we discovered didn’t work for us here.

This does 3 things:

  1. It never allows you to rest on your laurels. There is the mindset that another even better way can always be found.
  2. It removes absolutes. What doesn’t work in one situation or organization isn’t thrown out forever and ever. It may actually work under alternate conditions.
  3. It neutralizes failure. Experimentation with a desired outcome in mind, executed deliberately, and informed on what can go wrong, can focus individuals and teams on curiosity and learning, rather than fear and anxiety.

Want to explore ways to responsibly experiment in your job? Sign up for a free mini-session, and let’s talk!

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