You adopt new ways of working together by using Adoption Experiments. With an experiment, you can get some degree of objective evidence that a new practice will work for you, and see what needs to be tuned and tweaked as necessary.
(Note this is the same idea as in Answers by Experiments, except applied here to process adoption.)
There are several main benefits to this concept:
Rather than relying on what might have worked somewhere else with different people, you can inspect and adapt in the proper context: yours.
Each practice comes with its own experiment, which helps you identify the conditions for the experiment, the feedback to look for and how to evaluate it. In the beginning, the feedback and evaluation are very concrete and unambiguous, with no judgment required (that part comes later).
Experiments in The GROWS™ Method look like this:
Experiments are time-boxed, which limits commitment and risk, unlike the more amorphous “change,” which is permanent and open-ended. It’s very clear all involved that you aren’t yet adopting this practice or committing to it. You’re just going to give it a try.
Everyone participates in the experiment and in evaluating the outcome, which gives the participants a chance to “put their own egg in,” as the saying goes. (When Betty Crocker first came out with an instant cake mix, it was a failure. All you had to do was add water to to the mix. They changed the formula so you had to add an fresh egg and water, and now consumers felt like cooks again. That version was a success: level of participation makes a difference!)
In the introductory skill stages, the experiment will be defined for you in each practice. By the higher stages, we’ll show you how to construct your own.
You’re doing it wrong if…
Trying everything all at once. Remember to honor all of the core concepts, especially Take Small Bites, One Thing at a Time, and Agree to Try.
Ignoring feedback if it’s not what you expect. Remember, no experiment fails; all experiments provide data. It’s very possible to get unwanted feedback, but that just means you need to go in a slightly different direction than you’d planned.