Taking a powerful, purposeful, and predictable approach to Innovation

Now it's time to prototype, or test your hypothesis with real world experience!

Formulate your Plan

An excerpt from my workshop

Now it's time  to  try  a  prototype.  We  want  to  do  something  very  small that  will  take  that  idea  that  we've come  up  with  and  to  put  it  into  action,  to  test  it  out  and try  it.  This  should  be  really,  really  simple.  You  can  think  of  this  as  sort  of  the  crepe  paper,  construction  paper  and  Popsicle  sticks type of prototype approach.  It  doesn't  have  to  be  fancy;  it  doesn't  have  to  be  electronic (in fact it shouldn't be).  It  should  be  just  something  as  simple  and  "quick  and  dirty" as  we  possibly  can  to  get  at  the  hypothesis,  to  prove  that  out,  to  test  the  idea  that  we've  settled  on,  at  least  for  the  first  round.


Let's be  clear  here  too,  this  is  your plan.    You  need  to  come  up  with  your  plan.      You  need  to  put  the  pieces  in  place  to  test  your  plan.    You  need  to  evaluate  the  results  of  your  plan.      Own  it. 


You  might  also  think  about  trying  it  with  another  team,  maybe  the  line  that's  adjacent  to  yours  or  a  team  upstairs  or  across  the  aisle.   You  try  their  idea  and  they  try  your  idea.    Then  you  get  somebody  else's  perspective  on  that  prototype  or  that  testing  process,  and  that's  how  we  can  forward  it  for  experimentation.  Then  we  "run  the  experiment".  Did  you  get  the  results  that  you  thought,  or  somewhere  near  it,  maybe  the  inverse?  Okay.  That's  good.  


We  really  hope  and  want  that  from  time  to  time  you'll  get  it  wrong.  We  want  to  "embrace  the  fail".  We  want  people  to  feel  safe  in  trying  something  different.  If  you  fail  and  you  move  the  needle  that  you  had  in  mind  but  you  move  it  the  wrong  way,  then  we  can  say  "Yes,  we  have  found  the  lever.  But  we  pushed  it  instead  of  pulling  it".  If we  get  it  right,  especially  if  we  get  it  sort  of  right  or  mostly  right,  then  we  might  not  get  as  much  of  an  advantage  as  if  we  got  it  wrong.   Because  we  probably  won't  go  back  and  reevaluate  that,  in  which  case  we  may  have  missed  the  opportunity  for  the  real  breakthrough.   

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 This is a portion of the Appendix from "Standing On Shoulders: A Leader's Guide to Digital Transformation".


It is taken directly from a workshop I do on design thinking.   It is lightweight enough to use for team retrospectives, and still powerful enough to use for product, service, or process development.