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If It Ain’t Broke Experiment

July 1, 2011
Experiment

“If It Ain’t Broke, Experiment.”  What a wonderful idea!  The quote comes from an article, Why Leaders Don’t Learn from Success, by Francesca Gino and Gary Pasano in the Harvard Business Review. Here is what Gino and Pasano write:

“Experimentation is one way to test assumptions and theories about what is needed to achieve high levels of performance. And it should continue even after a success. This happens all the time in scientific research and in engineering. Engineers routinely subject their designs to ever-more-rigorous tests until the thing they are designing actually breaks. Organizational experiments can also be conducted to push boundaries. Of course, the costs and impact of such experiments need to be managed carefully (to avoid severe financial consequences or harming customers). The right question for leaders of learning organizations to ask is not “What are we doing well?” but rather “What experiments are we running?”

Can our schools begin to shift from a “sefl-congratulatory” mindset that tends to justify the status quo to a mindset that asks deeper questions, develops experiments, collects data, analyzes the data, and promotes thoughtful change. 

I found that article inspiring and thought-provoking.

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