Day: August 10, 2020

Seven myths of business experimentation

When Isaac Newton published his third law of motion in 1687 — that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — he unintentionally gave us a conceptual model that extended beyond the motion of physical objects. About 300 years later, the economist Albert Hirschman applied this action–reaction lens to the study of political, social, and economic progress and arrived at a provocative conclusion. He proposed in his book The Rhetoric of Reaction that opposition to progress is often “shaped, not so much by fundamental personality traits, but simply by the imperatives of argument, almost regardless of the desires, character, or conviction of the participants.” Hirschman’s theses can help us understand why some executives aren’t going full throttle with business experimentation, a practice that is key to innovation, that drives profitable growth and creates shareholder value.

I’ve found that there are commonly held misconceptions — deployed as rhetorical

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