How many projects or initiatives did not work as planned in 2017? If you were trying to create change or to innovate, probably a lot. (If most things went as planned, you might not have been pushing or innovating enough!)
But this year, to reduce the risk of solving a problem or pursuing an opportunity, force yourself to consider a wider array of options before deciding on a course of action. In Dan & Chip Heath’s book Decisive, they warn that narrow framing leads to overlooking other, often much better, options. Be weary of “this or that” or “whether or not” decisions.
When the options for a decision seem overly narrow, ask yourself or your team “What would we do if all available options were taken off the table but we still needed to move forward?” List as many ideas as you can.
Once you have several viable paths forward — I suggest more than two — figure out how you can stress test each option without fully implementing them. A little creativity is called for here as there may be a way to test all options simultaneously, increasing speed and reducing risk. Think fast, cheap and minimally viable prototypes.
If you get stuck in the testing phase, drop me line. I have some suggestions on how to test multiple ideas quickly and cheaply.
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