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Find Simple, Cheap, and Easy Tests That Excite Your Organization to Locate Better Business Models

Jun 1, 2008
Few people will probably want to work on any kind of business model innovation when it first becomes a company priority. They see the work as likely to be a career dead-end. One of the scarcest resources in your organization are people who like to work on new ways to expand demand for your offerings. Even rarer are the people who are good at this role.

Fortunately, you have a powerful incentive to focus their attention. They are often looking for new challenges. Your best bet is to add the psychology of curiosity and passion to draw your organization's challenge seekers forward.

Share the potential opportunities that have been identified and ask for proposals to test the ideas. Make it clear what recognition and rewards will be provided for taking on these experiments.

Ideally, you want good work in this area to pave the way for promotions and significant compensation improvements as well as recognition simply if the testing is done well, regardless of how the results of the test turn out.

Specify that each test must reasonably provide reliable information about:

(1) how much ultimate consumption and intermediate demand changed as a result of the test

(2) whether these changes in consumption and demand are likely to be permanent to the same degree

(3) operational problems that the test created along with suggested solutions

(4) effects on costs due to the test

(5) what difficulties would be presented by expanding the test throughout the organization

(6) what went unexpectedly well and poorly during the test, and why

(7) what the long-term impact of implementing this new program is

(8) a forecast of the resources needed and results that will likely be obtained by employing what was learned, and

(9) proposals for any other tests that need to be run to take advantage of what was or could be learned.

After your organization has chosen to pursue whatever tests it finds most attractive and can afford to do, you should then call upon your partners and suppliers to see if they would like to take lead roles in testing any of the other opportunities. In many cases, the potential benefit to them and resources available from them can greatly expand the scope of tests that can be pursued.

After you have pursued whatever proposals make sense from partners and suppliers, share your opportunities to provide more benefits with customers and end users to see if any of them would like to take the lead in establishing tests. This is particularly powerful because it provides a potent look at how valuable their initial perceptions are of the benefits they would receive. In most cases, you will probably be providing some funding and personnel as part of a team approach. Cooperation should, however, lower the cost and make the results more likely to bear fruit.

After tapping all of these resources, you should also ask for proposals from outside organizations which have the expertise to test other demand opportunities, with some internal coordination from your company.

Obviously, you can stop at any point along the way when you run out of people to work on or coordinate these tests, or the funds or other scarce resources to do them. Most companies will run out of the time of appropriate people long before they run out of funding.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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