< Return to Quick Notes

Time to Run a Negative Pilot?

February 9, 2015

Take a quick look at your calendar – see the meetings or to-dos that are more dutiful than valuable? Rather than grind through them, consider running a “negative pilot.” You can test to see what happens when you scale back or stop doing one of them.

You don’t need to make a bold public statement. Just quietly run a small experiment. You may be surprised by what doesn’t happen. Does anyone notice or object?

Many of us carry forward activities that have outlived their purpose – at least in their current form. Regularly paring them away – or updating them to be more efficient – makes room for what really matters today. This kind of curation finds ways to do less in order to contribute more.

You can give your team permission to do the same. Lisa Bodell teaches companies how to “Kill a Stupid Rule.” She advocates asking your team the following question:

“If you could get rid of any rule, either kill it or change it, what would you do and why?

Identify which rules can’t be touched, like laws or government regulations, and that everything else is fair game.

impact_implementation grid.001After as little as 10 minutes of brainstorming you may be surprised by what surfaces. The things that are holding people back might include rules, assumptions and processes. After sharing them, ask everyone to choose one they’d most like to kill or change, and write it on a post-it.

The team can then post their choices on an implementation/impact grid.

Consider the clusters that emerge and see what change the team is most interested in piloting.  There’s as much value to encouraging this kind of thinking as there is in running the pilot.

Comments are closed.