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Go from Thought Experiments to Testing Strategies for Exponential Growth

Feb 6, 2008
It doesn't matter how many road obstacles are removed in your mind by such mental exercises. If your vehicle isn't up to providing a comfortable, safe, and efficient journey, you won't arrive at where you want to go.

Most astute car buyers know that a test drive helps them avoid buyer's remorse. Now that rental car companies offer more types of cars, minivans, SUVs, and trucks, you can replace the traditional round-the-block test drive with a long trip. For those who are concerned about avoiding a lemon (a vehicle that just never seems to work right regardless of the repairs that are made), you can cautiously take out a lease on the vehicle with an option to buy if things work out.

Thought experiments, like answering these questions concerning how a growth breakthrough might have occurred:

1. Why is everyone pleased that the expansion has occurred?

2. How could people be even more pleased?

3. What changed from before the expansion to after?

4. Why didn't those helpful changes occur sooner?

5. How could the pace of progress have been accelerated?

6. What one approach could have eliminated more of the early obstacles?

7. What could have accelerated the best obstacle-obliterating approach?

8. What can be done in the next hour to start implementing that approach?

are great ways to begin developing business models and advantaged strategies for adding 20 times more sales.

Thought experiments are like the research that you do to narrow down your possible vehicle choices to two or three models. After that point, you have to shift from imagination to physically testing what can really be done.

Why? It's simple. Experience has shown that two out of three strategies that organizations dream up to establish great volume increases cannot be effectively implemented.

Thought experiments have probably improved your odds of success. Why? First, your surviving ideas at this point probably have the potential to gain you more than 20 times increased volume. If your implementation is somewhat faulty, you may still enjoy 20-times improvements. In addition, your execution will improve over time. The smooth operations that we all respect at Southwest Airlines and Ryanair didn't happen overnight.

Second, you've been forced to look at a variety of ways that volume can be greatly increased. In the course of that thinking, you've ruled out a lot more alternatives than most executives who make faulty strategy choices ever consider. Some of those alternatives that you have ruled out are among the two out of three strategies that cannot be implemented.

Third, we've kept you focusing your thinking on simpler ways to accomplish big results. Simple approaches are more likely to be implemented successfully.

But there's no way to insure against overoptimism about implementation . . . except to test out your thinking before you make a major commitment. So get ready to test.
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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