How Managers Can Establish a Culture of Experimentation

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In today’s era of cut-throat competition and ever-changing dynamics, organizations need to employ more innovative measures that will attract more customers, garner greater attention, and boost revenue. The business world is consistently changing and this makes it essential for organizations to establish a culture of experimentation.


A culture of experimentation implicates organizations to implement fresh ideas and solutions in the entire organization. This is done without limiting things to specific departments only. Experimentation promotes innovation and therefore, requires to be embraced throughout the organization. For making experimentation a productive exercise, your organization must handle several situations. Your learnings from these situations and the communication you had with your teams about the findings should be reflected in your decision-making process. 

Technology is developing at an astonishing pace over the last few years. From new tools to new business models, there’s a new development in the world of business each day. No wonder having a culture of experimentation has become mandatory today. So, how can you establish a culture of experimentation? Let’s find out below!

Bid adieu to micromanagement

Being a leader, you’d be aware of how easily one can slip into a micromanagement perspective. In a culture of experimentation, you shouldn’t get overly perspective about what your employees do, how much they work, etc. Employees cannot perform nor get engaged in the organization when they are being monitored very closely. When you want your workforce to really be innovative, you need to give them an extensive level of freedom. 

Learn from failure

As cliche as it may sound, you and your employees need to be comfortable with failure. It is quite important when you are aiming to establish a culture of experimentation. You are going to design products that just won’t work well. You will create new web sections that receive an abysmal conversion rate. These are learnings that need to be reflected in your next decisions. When you want your employees to work in a culture of experimentation, you need to be comfortable with seeing everyone fail but learn. 

Initiate with small bets

You do not want to experiment to the extent that your organization’s future is dependent on a single experiment. Start by taking small bets as it will enable you to get an understanding of what can work in your favor. Chase progress and not perfection – get a process that enables your employees to submit their ideas. As you keep taking small bets, you’ll become familiar with what works for you, and then you shall double down on it. This is a low-risk strategy that can guide in uncovering the way to success. 

Value the effort 

At the initial levels, your employees can feel apprehensive while experimenting, especially when it’s not been an element of the culture. By their first failure, they might end up feeling like throwing in the towel. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you need to highlight and publicly recognize their efforts. Make sure that you personally motivate the ones taking small bets and risks. Another way is to gamify things so that your workforce gets some type of reward from experimenting. 

Have a collaborative approach

In order to make experimenting productive and get good ideas, you need to have a pool of a huge number of ideas. Even though some of these ideas might turn out to be vague. but that’s the whole point of the experience. The best way to think of an idea is to have frequent business sessions to develop new tests. The more you collaborate, the better ideas can be brought to the table unitedly. However, make sure that these sessions are productive and include no other discussion other than generating ideas. 

Get everyone involved

 When you are establishing a culture of experimentation, you cannot just allow the teams to handle it on their own. It is vital that everyone in the organization recognizes that they have room to experiment around. The organization that is historically the master of this is Facebook. They have had traditional hackathons since the days of their start. These hackathons a weekend, night, or day and produce useful products. 

Provide time to experiment

One cannot establish a culture of experimentation when it demands way too quick results from employees. Experimentation takes time but then as clear as it is, the process yield multiple benefits for the organization. Google does this as well through its 20 Percent Time Model. This allows the employees to devote 20% of their working week to a project not related to their scope. It served to establish the basis of a culture of experimentation for the internet giants. 

Make sure you consider the above points for establishing a culture of experimentation in your organization. For more assistance regarding employee development, reach out to us here!

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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