Go on, build that MVP…

Experiments are good!

   Maybe it’s just my filter bubble but I see signs of organisations realising they need to be better at experimenting & learning just about everywhere.

While this is a good step forward, and certainly in line with what we preach,  don’t forget to change all the habits and processes in your company that prevents learning.

For example…

— . . .stop making huge investments in uncertain projects (uncertainty about if you manage to deliver on time and on budget is not what I’m talking about, it’s uncertainty about stakeholder value — huge investments should be in a portfolio of experiments if anything).

— . . .stop incentivising execution at the expense of exploring (like when you have a career path for managers but not for intrapreneurs). You must reward risk taking, even if it means failing. The trick is to fail fast (and cheap) with as much learnings as possible.

— . . .stop letting the Highest Paid Persons Opinion (HIPPO) rule supreme (central command & control is the opposite of learning). Leadership is about giving direction and establishing psychological safety so that people can explore and learn in the most meaningful way to the organisation.

— . . .stop hiring people that believe they have all the answers (knowing is the opposite of learning). Who you recruit and bring in to the organisation is perhaps the most important decision you make. Growth mindset is what you are looking for.

— . . .stop shouting at your customers (shouting as in pushing your message in their face – talking & listening is how you learn).

I could go on like this for quite some time.

My point is: go on, take that “lean startup workshop” (we can arrange that, by the way), start doing A/B test experiments, build that MVP.

But be humble about the journey you have in front of you. It’s a long one.

Erik Starck

Erik is a Lean Forward partner and the CEO of the company.