“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.”                  –  Albert Einstein

What is a genuine experiment?

A true experiment is blind. It is when you try something not because you know what will happen but in order to see what will happen.

These are two entirely different strategies. One is inside-the-square and the other is outside-the-square.

My view of the lack of real experimentation in selling and business has been because of a dominant preference for short term gains. So, there is not such a strong tradition for genuine blind experimentation as there is in science. This is one reason why business can be slow adapting to change.

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Do you ever wonder why cars aren’t called “horseless carriages” anymore? Today’s cars are just as horseless as they were a century ago. Horselessness is standard equipment on most new and late models, both foreign and domestic.

Framing the question this way may seem a bit absurd; yet, it’s a playful reminder that innovation does not emerge out of nothing. New innovations evolve from historical, iterative processes. The automobile developed out of, and in opposition to, concepts associated with the horse and carriage.

A creative, innovative mind also seeks to move beyond the given categories of thought established by binary frameworks.

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Lateral thinking, the ability to move horizontally across different categories of thought.

6a00e008d957708834019affc61a30970b-300x187The creative process is just that: a process.

We need to break out of thinking that is solely based on what we know, what we assume, and what we’ve experienced. Many of us are so entrenched in our industries that we don’t know how to think laterally or horizontally. We usually go a mile deep but only an inch wide. We haven’t given our people and ourselves the time and opportunities to explore other industries, cultures designs, ways of being and doing, and other “adjacent possibilities.”

If you want to take your “car” far beyond horses, even to the moon perhaps, you and your team need to understand how you got to where you are, and look outside of that familiar world to see where you can go.