We all know the story of Thomas Edison and how he made 1000 trials before he got it right and made the light bulb. Once a journalist asked him “what do you have to say about the 999 times you failed? Edison answered, “I learnt 999 ways Not to make a lightbulb.”
We know that Edison was a very shrewd businessman too.
What does this example mean to you?
For me, it shows the importance of a testing mindset. It shows the need to accept failures as a learning ground.
What happens if we don’t? A board room turns into a contest of blames rather than a hotbed of ideas.
What is a testing mindset?
It is a mindset, which looks at process, as something to test, with performance goals rather than outcome goals. Dr. Jim Loehr in his book New Toughness Training for Sports brings this out vividly. e.g. A golfer focuses on his swing and drive rather than his final score.
This has a couple of advantages: By developing performance goals, you will bring all the assumptions of the team on the table. The workflow and critical sub-steps become very clear. When the process is finally done, the focus shifts FROM who should take the credit or the blame TO which assumptions worked and which did not? Which work flow did well and which did not?
Do you get the difference?
This helps in shifting the mindset of your employees from internal competition to internal collaboration.Your team is supposed to compete in the marketplace not within. Click To Tweet
It also helps in entrenching what works and removing what does not. Every project becomes a lightbulb which either shines (and you know exactly why) or does not (and you know exactly why).
How would you build this testing mindset in your business?