The Resonance Test 58: Stefan Thomke


“Experimentation Is the Engine that Drives Innovation. If You’re Not Experimenting, You’re Not Innovating.”

The Resonance Test 59: Stefan Thomke

January 14, 2021
by Chris MichaudKen Gordon
Stefan Thomke 2014c

A bad experiment, says HBS professor Stefan Thomke, is one “where you learn nothing.” Thomke, the author of the recent volume Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments and our guest on The Resonance Test, should know. He's a thoughtful advocate of the methodical and effective testing of ideas. Thomke’s conversion with our Chris Michaud educated us on the many challenges of building an experimental culture and what leadership requires here. Experimentation is not easy. “Human nature gets in the way,” Thomke says. “We tend to happily accept good results, which are confirming our biases.” But when confronted by a “bad” result, he notes, “we challenge and thoroughly investigate it.” In Experimentation Works, we learn about the newly arrived CEO who arrived and presented a logo to his staff. They responded: “That’s great; we’ll check it with an experiment.” Thomke also reminds us that building such a strong experimental culture can’t be done on the cheap. “CEOs get really excited about innovation and they tell everybody to be innovative but there are no budgets available,” says Thomke, adding: “You gotta put some serious resources into these kinds of things.” Invest in the next episode of the podcast and get smarter about your experiments.

Host: Kenj Ross
Editor: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

The Resonance Test 59: Stefan Thomke
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