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REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBThe phrase that will change your business’s future is, “I’d like to try an experiment…let’s see if this works.”

There’s a saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” While I may suggest it isn’t entirely true (see side note 2 in Choosing Your Surfing Style), the point is well taken: you can’t expect to see a change, unless you make a change. (Surprise, right?)

But somehow change is easier when you call it an “experiment.” An experiment sounds more scientific. An experiment gives us an out if it doesn’t work. We’re justing testing a hypothesis after all — not claiming that we’re right, just suggesting an idea and seeing if it pans out. And that’s so much better: it lowers our barriers to innovation, softens the sting of failure, and emboldens our courage to be wrong.

That’s exactly what the newly formed Thriveal Laboratory is all about: Encouraging strategic risk-taking by lowering the barriers to innovation. We want to accelerate the adoption of today’s innovations and contribute to the imagining of tomorrow’s. And we’ve been busily working away in our lab coming up with the stuff to do just that.

Today we’d like to announce the release of our Self-experiment Initiative — it’s a by-product of The Experimental Framework we’ve been designing and represents a way you, a firm owner or experiment champion, can think through and design an experiment, and then record your results. The Self-experiment Initiative has two web forms:

Design the Experiment — Here you think through and describe things like your hypothesis, your influences, your context, the steps you plan to take, and the notes you’ll plan to make.

Report the Results — After the experiment’s done, you summarize things like your conclusion, notes taken, suggestions for others attempting, and pivot points during the process.

Once completed, both your Design and Results will be anonymized and go into the Laboratory Database, accessible to other Self-experiment Initiative participants and Lab Partners.

By participating in the Self-experiment Initiative, you benefit from the structure of an established experiment methodology (which will be continually evolving), demonstrate your commitment to furthering our profession for the benefit of our customers, and benefit from knowledge sharing with other future-minded professionals. This perfectly dovetails with the four main goals of the Lab to: 1) Foster an experimental community, (2) Conduct experiments, (3) Build an experiment results database, and (4) Cultivate an experimentation mindset in the profession.

As a business owner, I’m guessing you’re not struggling with ideas to experiment on: it could be trying a new CRM system, changing your customer on-boarding process, experimenting with a new pricing strategy, implementing a new team knowledge development system, seeing if a new software or add-on would work for your customer base, and the list goes on. My recommendation: (a) check out the post on How to Not Be Strategic, Strategically, (b) pick out your next biggest strategic priority, (c) design your experiment, and (d) let us know it went.

The experimental habit can be addicting –  and life changing. All living things grow and adapt, and have processes to do so. Which is why I posit in Firm(s) of the Future(s): “developing the firm of the future, is developing the firm that develops.” The Thriveal Lab Self-experiment Initiative is a great way to develop that strength in your firm and draw strength from others doing the same. Goggles on – here we go!

(For more information on the Lab, to become a Lab Partner, Submit an experiment idea, or Receive our periodic updates, just visit our website for the Lab. We’ll also be announcing our first Lab Experiment next week at the AICPA Practitioner’s Symposium/Tech+ Conference — be sure to catch us there in person or via Twitter, and keep tabs on things here on the Thriveal blog!)

Adrian G. Simmons is a CPA innovating ways to put money in its place. After working as an auditor out of college for KPMG, he joined his father in public practice in 2002, and now acts as the Chief Creative Designer there. With the team, he looks for ways to help their customers become financially strong, so that they can focus on what truly matters in life. Adrian likes tech, uses a fountain pen, successfully attempted a half-marathon (and may try another), and prefers dark over milk chocolate.

  • Jason Blumer

    On 06-03-2014 at 4:24 pm, Jason Blumer said:

    OMG, this amazing Adrian! I love experimentation, and this gives me tools I need to guide me through more effective experimentation!

    Thank you!

  • On 06-03-2014 at 5:38 pm, Jay Kimelman said:

    And it is things like this that I am proud to say I am a thrivealist and a supporter of the lab!

  • On 06-06-2014 at 10:35 am, Michael Wall said:

    Let the discoveries begin!


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