Experiment with New Ideas in Your Small Business

 Remember when a calendar year could be used in the marketplace as the chronological parameter for a business cycle or a marketing strategy? Remember when you could develop a product and count on the viability of the generation lasting at least 12 months? Well, that was a nice trip down memory lane, wasn't it?!

Better buckle up. Today we measure cycles in Internet terms, and an Internet year is about 90 days. With so much market velocity, if we are going to survive we have no choice but to change. But how does an organization accomplish so much change, with the same people, without killing everybody?

One of the most interesting books I've seen, The Max Strategy, was written by a member of my Brain Trust, Dale Dauten. In the book is this quote, "... people hate to change, but they love to experiment." Eureka! That's the answer.

Don't just make changes, experiment with new paths to success. Change is annoying and tiresome. Experimenting is exciting because of the possibilities. You "give" your people change and "expect" them to accept it. You "let" your people "participate" in an experiment. Lose words like "change," "different," new" and  "improved" and replace them with "experiment," "create," " participate,"  and "contribute." This is not a word game. It's your new approach to making things happen without creating a casualty list.

As you contemplate your company's next new direction, project or product, develop your approach around an "experiment." You've heard me say it before:  You can't do this alone. You have to use all of the brain power and creative juices in your organization. Change is what must happen. Experimenting is how you must do it.