The Upside of an Experimental Mindset

Leaders create change. The problem is that not everybody wants change. You’ve probably faced the frustration of having your team be less than enthusiastic about a new initiative. That’s when you hear all the familiar lines: “We tried that before.” “It’ll cost too much.” “Why do we need this, anyway?”

It’s exhausting. But there is hope!  Here's an easy way to get people onboard with a new initiative. It’s so simple, you’ll wonder you you haven’t thought of it before now.

Here it is: When introducing any change, from procedures or policies up to and including new product releases, ask people to think of it as an experiment.

Hold on! We know that sounds either simplistic or downright dangerous, but there’s a real logic behind it. And? It really works. We’ve used it dozens of times, both when we find ourselves procrastinating on personal change, and even when we launched one of our most successful products.

Try this yourself, and you’ll instantly overcome resistance and gain buy-in for your change initiatives. You’ll finally escape the purgatory of endless discussion about a new idea and quickly move to action.

Here’s a look inside this episode—

  • A simple change we implemented that caused pushback—and how we overcame it. [1:32]
  • Some clear benefits of thinking of changes as experiments. [5:07]
  • The number of change initiatives that fail (you won’t believe it). [5:57]
  • How this thinking gets you over the fear that causes procrastination. [8:46]
  • How Gail used experimental thinking to help Michael make a significant life change. [11:27]
  • How to use an experimental mindset when facing resistance vs. mere reluctance. [16:32]
  • How research on gambling informs the best way to introduce change. [20:16]
  • Overcoming fear of error with an experimental mindset. [21:19]
  • How we used the experimental mindset to help launch a major new project—and then revise it! [21:46]
  • Two contexts in which the experimental mindset is particularly helpful. [25:06]

Once you’ve heard the episode, here’s your next step. Try it on one change initiative you’re currently thinking about. Just give it a shot. I think you’ll be amazed at the result.

Be a ‘Social’ Activist

We’ll bet you know another leader who’s also facing resistance to some change. Why not share this episode with them? Just drop the link in your favorite social channel with the hashtag #leadtowin. Get something started! (In a good way.)

And follow us on Instagram: michaelhyatt and meghmiller. That’s our favorite social hangout, and we’d love to see you there. We love reading your comments!

Resources in This Episode