A company culture of experimentation through Learning and development
Experiments are not just a step in the growth of a company, they form a go-to instrument box every time you develop new ideas, leaps of faith or solutions. It allows your company to innovate, which enables growth.
What is experimentation & how can a company culture of experimentation facilitate this?
Let’s explore how learning and development teams are key to creating this culture of experimentation.
Test ideas & successfully innovate.
Generate new ideas
An experimentation culture refers to integrating new ideas and solutions throughout your whole company. This does not apply to one single department but starts from the first to the last person. New ideas bring innovation and let that just the main driver of experimentation.
So don’t, and really don’t, hire a know-it-all. We can’t stress this enough.
First of all, this doesn’t exist.
Secondly, the people who think they know everything will ruin your attempt to build a culture of experimentation.
Some people think outside the box, but we suggest going a step further. Crawl out of it and never open the box again. Experimentation will create evidence, so why would you stay at what you know.
Innovative ideas through learning & development
So, what are the optimal ingredients for delivering successful experiments? If testing is key for your company, start to focus on creating the following organisational culture.
Want to learn more about validation
Find out how our Validation experts start their Experiment Design Process
1. Engaged leaders
They determine to which extent ideas will transform the entire company. Executives will feel their company has a culture of experimentation if they themselves dedicate a lot of time to learning and development. This number is even three times higher than when they don’t.
An excellent leader connects with multiple levels to engage with other employees. Managers in many organisations forget they can extract the ideas from the huge pool of creativity an enterprise can offer. Employees can take action independently, instead of managers telling them what works all the time.
If managers embrace experimentation, the journey can start. Don’t bother to begin if that’s not the case.
Do you have such amazing leaders in your team?
2. Allow risk-taking
Emphasize efficiency, but allow employees to take risks, experience failed experiments, and continue to do so without consequences. One experiment won’t do the trick, but many experiments will lead to success. Make sure this is communicated to everyone, maybe even with training programs on what it exactly means.
One successful experiment often goes hand in hand with 10 failed ones. Yes, you heard me right, this is a low success rate, but don’t let this hold your employees back.
The one success will make up for far more than 10 failures.
Take for example the conversion rate of a campaign. If you manage to have conversion rates, even lower than 1/10, you are probably situated in the generated standard. And still, this 3% will make up for the other 97%
3. A diverse team
Diverse, also heterogeneous, groups are found to bring far more out-of-the-box solutions. There’s a whole mix of different values, lifestyles, perspectives, experiences, etc. (Believe us, the list continues for a couple of pages 😉)
Deloitte did some research about this and found some extraordinary numbers. An inclusive culture is:
…2 times more likely to meet or exceed financial targets
…Even 3 times more likely to be high performing
…A whopping 6 times more likely to be innovative and flexible
…We’re not done yet – 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.
And now we’re done, at least with expressing our point on this one.
We covered the importance of generating new ideas, but that’s one thing. It’s something else to facilitate these new ideas. You run experiments in a company culture that can manage its changes.
This is flexibility.
Let’s quickly put this all together in a simple roadmap:
👉 Start experimenting
👉 Learn from both successful and failed experiments
👉 Derive specific changes that have to be made
👉 Apply these changes – This is where there’s no room for fear of changing, and where your flexibility shall be tested.
Wait… We haven’t tackled the evaluation yet.
It involves assessing if the experiments failed or succeeded to list some learning points either way.
After that, when going through new experiments, try to stay innovative. Create a new team for the next project, try a new approach, or do whatever makes your new experiment unique.
You might find the next gem, so start searching.
And if you want to make a difference, share those gems with us on one of our channels. We thank you in advance!
Are you eager to work in a culture of experimentation? Do you have a lot of innovative ideas?
We are looking for you! Apply for one of our job openings.
Want to know more about this topic: we found a great article from the Harvard business school.