A Basis for Experimentation

The enable phase builds on the information obtained in any initial research or enquiry and creates opportunities for leaders to shape a clear vision and define their role in the change being created.

Enable is also period for experimentation; testing out our hypothesis using small, rapid, low risk experiments that can shape the ‘design’ and your best chance for success.  We call these experiments ‘Trojan mice’, as they aim to engage with the informal practices occurring between processes, systems and people, to identify what changes work well in practice. The term "design" is used generically to describe for example process design or organisation design.

Predictable versus Emergent

In highly complex organisations, undertaking any change can seem daunting, particularly when there is limited agreement on what needs to be done and uncertainty over the organisations capability and capacity to deal with changes in technology, the market place or economic environment.  In such situations, the approach is less predictable and therefore testing out different ideas and ways to improve performance can help new practices and behaviours to emerge.

This ‘experimentation’ can be a very challenging time for Business Leaders, as it presents a paradox around managing performance, being accountable and in control vs enabling change to happen by creating the conditions for innovation & creativity emerge, all at the same time!

Seeking Connections

Too frequently leaders are asked to view their complex organisation as a machine, where change can be introduced through the ‘pulling or pushing’ of various change levers.  Leaders are almost encouraged to maintain a professional detachment from the organisation as they ‘pull or push’ the organisation in different directions to bring about the desired changes in behaviours and performance.

Our approach is to help business leaders to assimilate the changes required in the organisation, as part of the way they choose to connect with the change and direct it, by allowing change to emerge from experimentation.  This is far from letting go of the reins, it requires a real appreciation of the organisation and the nature of the change the organisation needs to make.  It requires the change leader to:

  • Understand their role within the change
  • Maintain a high level of connection with the change
  • Help the organisation to assimilate the changes
  • Help shape the experiments that help the organisation progress the changes
  • Develop an implementation approach to realise the changes