Why Experimentation Matters....

Why Experimentation Matters....

"The most important and visible outcropping of the action bias in the excellent companies is their willingness to try things out, to experiment. There is absolutely no magic in the experiment. It is simply a tiny completed action, a manageable test that helps you learn something, just as in high school chemistry. But our experience has been that most big institutions have forgotten how to test and learn. They seem to prefer analysis and debate to trying something out, and they are paralyzed by fear of failure, however small (or improbable)."

Quoted from In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman (1982).

I think that's a big part of many large corporation's problem...they would (we would?) rather spend more energy debating and analyzing than it may require to run the experiment and get the answer....


1 Responses:

Excellent observation. It reminds me of a story in "The Art Of Innovation" about the design firm IDEO and how they won their first Sand Hill Challenge, a soapbox car race in Silicon Valley. They used a rapid-prototying approach to designing the car that ended up beating other traditionally engineered entries.

Here is an interesting blog entry I read while trying to find the story online: