Barriers to Experimentation

We too often get in our own way to unleash our potential or the potential of others. Yet when we are called to break away from the familiar and experiment to create something new, unleashed potential is vital.

At BIF9, jazz musician, storyteller, and educator Carl Størmer revealed through improvisation the unification of talents to experiment together the creation of music that is unleashed and new. In doing so, Størmer highlighted the barriers to experimentation that rewards and satisfies those who dare to create.

we are called to break away from the familiar and experiment to create something new

Putting into context what Størmer eloquently showed us, let me place his barriers to experimentation into our workplace. The state of our workplace is not working and isn’t good enough to help us take on the challenges of the 21st century. We all need to be more willing to scale the walls we have put in place to keep us leashed to safety. As the saying at BIF goes, “tweaks won’t do it.” We need a people willing to have their face “marred by dust and sweat and blood” willing to dismantle the management and leadership practices that no longer serve employees, the customers and the organization.

In short, the leadership we could show is limitless. To take on the three items listed below is a way to unleash your potential and scale the barriers to experimentation.

The state of our workplace is not working

Not Present

You may be at work, but do you show up and own the space you occupy. Are you engaging with others to do collaborative work? Are you purposeful in what you want to accomplish and how you go about your work? It’s a courageous act to be present. For when you are, you become more accountable to what you do and the outcomes you create. The good news is that when being present, you see connection and seek them. These are enablers to great work.

Want to Be Somewhere Else

Are you where you want to be. If the answer is no, it will be difficult to experiment. It will be impossible to be present. Nagging at the back of your mind is a distracting conversation that tells you that you don’t fit where you are.

Closed to Letting the Unknown Unfold

We are control freaks. If we could cheat and know in advance the outcomes of our experimentation, our controlling ways would entice. The spontaneity required to experiment quietly demands of us to let go and let unfold possibilities. New ideas begin to emerge that reposition our viewpoints and positions. The unknown is scary for businesses. But it’s there where transformation essential for experimentation reveals itself to us.

It takes a team of present people and a willingness to let the unknown unfold

To experiment means you must be open to teamwork. You cannot accomplish great things by yourself. It takes a team of present people and a willingness to let the unknown unfold and be observed with curiosity that will help improve the state of our workplaces. It is accepting that we will fall “short again and again” when we take on the challenge to overcome the barriers to experimentation. When we step away from the comfort of familiarity we begin to realize that something bigger is possible and experimentation is an avenue to catalyze it into reality.


Photo Credit HERE

Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and CEO of ExchangeGain. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post. The Optimistic Workplace (AMACOM) out 2015

  • Ben Simonton

    The barrier in the workplace is management plain and simple because management is always trying to manage the work, not the people. If instead, management manages the people by helping employees to be the Superstars they all want to be, the results are too amazing for words.

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