Recognizing that finding the right question can be more challenging than finding the right answer, Warren Berger of Fast Company asked five innovation experts “What questions should every company ask itself?”
Our favorite responses
Tim Ogilvie: “Where is our petri dish?”
“Where, within the company, can you explore heretical questions that could threaten the business as it is–without contaminating what you’re doing now?” In answering that question, it’s up to company leadership to “provide permission and protocols for experimentation”
Eric Ries: “How can we make a better experiment?”
Shifting emphasis from Ogilvie’s where to the how of experimentation, Ries’s question is counterintuitive for most managers, who tend to think in terms of “making products,” not “making experiments.” But as Ries points out, anytime you’re doing something new, “it’s an experiment whether you admit it or not. Because it is not a fact that it’s going to work.” … This means that instead of asking “What will we do?” or “What will we build?” the emphasis should be on “What will we learn?”
Couldn’t agree more with these two. The key to innovation is experimentation, and making it easy for employees to conduct better experiments faster is an excellent way to start.
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