Prototypes or Quick Wins ?

In the typical Change Management orthodoxy, there is this notion that you have to identify so called “quick wins” in order to gain momentum for your initiative. I do not deny the importance of such early successes : it develops self-confidence in any project team and it builds credibility for the change program itself.

Nevertheless, I observe that it is much more challenging (and efficient) to design appropriate prototypes. In the way T. Brown from IDEO defines them, prototypes allow space for a real learning attitude, which include the possibility of mistakes and even failure. By promising quick wins, any change team puts itself in a position where there is no other option but to deliver performance – and only performance. This can lead to a level of stress that impedes learning dramatically.

In addition to that, if early results happen to be present, the cult syndrom  can be feared, where a core team starts to believe that 1) it owns a definitive truth and 2) that what has been demonstrated at a usually small scale can be easily amplified to the large scale (which is never the case).

One of my clients often says : (S)he is right the one who is right at the end. And what we want is results – at the end. Even if during the journey and because of learning, results are not as beautiful as expected.

This entry was posted in Change Management, Creativity, design thinking, IDEO, Innovation, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Learning, Transformation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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