In a recent article on Fast Company, Intuit founder Scott Cook revealed the problem with the hierarchical power systems that plague most organizations around the world. Through extensive research, Cook identified the factor that drives most successful companies — experimentation that doubles as actual company performance.
During a trip to one of Toyota’s facilities in Japan, Cook learned about Toyota’s development strategy. Every position, from production line workers to the CEO, implement experiments in their daily activities. This results in failure, but also continuous growth and improvement — something that has allowed Toyota to stay successful for over 30 years.
Cook wants to see this type of experimentation in businesses all over. Whereas most traditional business experiments must be presented to senior executives as lengthy projects which can be costly and time consuming, Cook pushes for experiments that are quick, cheap and produce quick results. These types of activities are not often supported by immediate bosses, and this is where Cook encourages a break-away from traditional hierarchical power, which would traditionally terminate on such experiments.
I am not encouraging misbehavior at your place of employment, but in order to drive change and growth, sometimes you have to deviate from traditional norms. I encourage you to look for opportunities to improve processes and tasks in your daily workload. If it requires an experiment or two, I say go for it. I think Scott Cook would say the same.