You are on the path of learning how to be an innovative leader. Now is the time to tackle step 2 of the process: check and reassess.
In step 1, you identified what you can do better based on your responsibilities and areas of ownership in your organization. Now it’s time to get to work.
Where do you start?
Go and do what you have already thought about doing.
As you look over your metrics and responsibilities, your brain will automatically start to innovate and come up with new solutions.
Now, whether you had amazing ideas or you have some that you think might work but consider risky, you’ve got to try them. You must experiment.
Some experiments will be big. Your entire team will participate because in those instances you have enough knowledge, experience, and data to tell you to go all in.
You know this new pathway is your solution.
You will also have very small experiments. Little ideas you want to test out but you don’t feel 100% certain or that may feel a bit too risky to go big.
These small experiments are programs you will try with one customer or one process for a set period of time, and then you will assess the results.
Your goal is to become a scientist in your business.
See if you can run 3-5 small experiments at all times. Don’t break the rules of the company or the industry. Don’t damage the business, that’s not what small experiments are about. Small experiments let you try out ideas without the risk.
The concept of small experiments is where most leaders fail.
They don’t like to take risks, they think they don’t have time for experiments, and they don’t want to make their teams try new things.
Know that when you don’t experiment, you’re not following the path of an innovative leader.
Innovation is fun! Innovation is all about trying out ideas on a small scale just to enjoy the test and the freedom to see if you can make it better. When you approach it from this perspective and educate your team on this perspective, everyone should be on board.
Create your framework for what those tests will look like. Who gets to do them? What will they look like? What’s the standard timeframe you will run a small experiment? Create the rules.
Then come up with your 3-5 experiments and start putting them into play. Running experiments is part of adding daily value. It’s part of being an irreplaceable asset.
Imagine if you ran experiments throughout the year, and what you would have accomplished at the end of the year. You would have a list of items that either worked or didn’t, but now you have a clearer path of where to take your team, where to take your portion of the business, and where to not waste your time. Your team and business will be stronger for it, the company will be appreciating your efforts, and you will be the irreplaceable asset we all strive to be in our careers.