Evidence Based Playfulness

I’ve been doing a couple of things recently and I’ve been watching some conversations develop that suggest they aren’t compatible. I think they are – so I thought I’d outline why.

What are the two things?

  1. Encouraging people to embrace a more evidence based approach to their work
  2. Encouraging people to experiment more – and in particular play about with different things in conversations. Be more playful and inventive

The reason I do the first is because we don’t have enough time to do the wrong things. We are busy and taking time to methodically think through possible approaches, the evidence of what we already know and then reflect on outcomes makes perfect sense.

The reason I do the second is because the first approach urges you to test a hypothesis. It asks you to think about what you know already and what you can understand from elsewhere. Influencing well is a key skill in HR and leadership – if you only have one approach to conversation (rather than a broad range of approaches) then you limit your possible outcomes.

So think, plan, experiment, reflect. Keep playing with different approaches until you get better at picking the right approach for the right concept. The more you learn the better equipped you are to succeed. Try starting or ending conversations in a different way. Try holding them in a different place. Watch for different impacts of those changes.

The notion of working from an evidence base can seem restricting – and is too often portrayed as such – but combining that with attempting to experiment to learn more…

Well that’s pretty much an instruction to play about with things. It’s not an instruction to give into fads – it is permission to try and learn. It would be ridiculous in any other situation to see science and innovation as mutually exclusive. Can you use VR in your org? Probably. Should you? It depends on context and benefit. Is it worth playing about with it to work that out? Possibly.

So

– try things

– be humble enough to admit failure

– be smart enough to see success

– be brave enough to admit you are always learning

– be open enough to let others learn from you

– be astute enough to learn wherever you can

Experience is a source of evidence. Go try something new – but keep your eyes on the prize.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s