Margaret Heffernan on the power of experimentation

In Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future, Margaret Hefferman suggests that experiments is how we learn everything.  “We try to stand up, fall over, recalibrate, and next time find we can  teeter for a second or two. Keep at it and mastery emerges. Misbehave and feedback provides fresh evidence that throwing food is a poor means of secuing affection. An iterative process of approximation is how we learn. That life, work, love, politics  are complex makes experiments more valuable, not less. They allow us to see the systems we in habit. Since we can’t sxede the whole of a complex system at once, trial and error is how we probe them to find out what works. The key quality of experiments is that we don;t know what will happen. So they both spring from uncertainty and ambiguity aznd are a creative response to both.”

It is characteristic of the thrust and flavor of Heffernan’s resilient and relentless mind that she includes in each of her books dozens of mini-commentaries such as this one. They are directly or indirectly relevant to key insights. She thinks in terms of context, frame of reference. Experimentation is only one of several dozen business topics of special interest to her. I love to tag along with her as she explores and examines whatever catches her eye.

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Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker. She is currently a Professor of Practice at the University of Bath School of Management in the UK. She is the former chief executive officer of five businesses and is the writer of several books that explore business and effective leadership.

Uncharted was published by Avid Reader Press (September 2020). Heffernan’s other books include Women on Top (2018), Beyond Measure (2015), A Bigger Prize, 2014), Willful Blindness (2011), and The Naked Truth (2004).

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