How to Encourage And Promote Experimentation in Your Design Team

Your Design team is an essential link in your marketing chain, find out how to promote experimentation in your design team to achieve and exceed business goals.

Promote Experimentation in Your Design Team

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No matter what industry you work in, you’re always going to be looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve. Experimentation is key to this, with out-of-the-box thinking leading to great innovation.

But how can you encourage this in your design team?


Let’s take a look at six key tactics to implement.

1. Responsibility


Giving people responsibility for their work and testing can be a great way to cultivate an experimental spirit. By moving away from the collective agency of teams and allowing individuals to take control of their output, you focus their minds and encourage diverse ways of thinking, such as the opposite action technique.


This can work for both creation and problem-solving. When you have people working in a more independent, self-sufficient manner, their uniqueness becomes your business’s greatest strength. As a practice, this also ensures that miscommunications are kept to a minimum.

2. Broaden Voices


Working within a traditional structure can often lead to an imbalance of contributions. Those team members that are more confident in presenting ideas tend to enjoy a disproportionate amount of input, limiting the scope of the entire team’s creativity.


Instead of relying on who is the loudest or who might have the most authority, encourage contributions from every team member. It may appear on the face of it that this can dilute creativity, but much like omnichannel retailing, strength exists in options. 


It’s worth building this into the fabric of your organization, too – instead of hiring people who already fit your team culture, broaden the scope. Make a conscious effort to hire a diverse set of employees and listen to them. When everyone has the same background, their ideas are likely to be similar. By expanding the set of experiences within your design team, you can expand the scope of thought too.

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3. Embrace Failure

Initially, this might seem like a counter-productive way of operating. After all, everything we do in business is about ensuring success!


However, by focusing solely on things that guarantee success, you’ll likely let more radical ideas fall by the wayside. Out-of-the-box thinking can lead to the kind of gains and success that safe ideas can’t even dream of.


For instance, maybe you’ve always relied on the written word and lengthy email campaigns for marketing. This might work, but opening up your world to include visual storytelling can provide you with so many more opportunities that you’d otherwise miss out on. However, if you’re unwilling to risk failure, you might not take that step.


If you establish a culture where people aren’t punished for failing, they’ll feel more comfortable contributing to future projects. And next time out, their idea could be the one that unlocks your company’s potential to the greatest extent.

4. Change Relationship With Data


Many of the decisions we make in business are informed by data and evidence. To run an organization on a whim tends to prove an ineffective strategy, after all.


However, it’s important not to place too much emphasis on this. While relying on data might tell you what works, it can also stifle originality. This limits the often sizable gains that can be made through experimentation. If you’re so tied to the evidence of what has and hasn’t worked in the past, your ability to think outside of that bubble will be severely diminished.


Taking a more advisory approach to data – using it as part of the decision-making process instead of the entire decision-making process – is the solution here. Stop thinking of data as something conclusive. Instead, view it as a tool that allows you to generate new ideas. That way, you can use data instead of it using you.


5. Feedback


Both employee-to-manager and manager-to-employee feedback are vital, and you should have set processes in place for both. Setting aside organized time where employees can, either collectively or individually, give constructive feedback to their superiors can help immensely when introducing new ways of working smoothly and effectively.


Thanks to computer telephony enterprise app integration, managers can discuss feedback with employees no matter where they are. It’s important for employees to know how they are performing, to praise their strengths, and offer assistance with their weaknesses.


Doing this in a more personable and informal way may seem like it could create a lax attitude to performance. However, when combined with the points made above, it ensures that the culture of fear around failure and a future unwillingness to get involved isn’t allowed to fester.


It also ensures that any questions an employee has, no matter how small, can be resolved. They could ask about new design software or ask for help figuring out exactly what visual voicemail is. Regardless of the context, being more informal allows employees to feel more confident seeking resolution from you.

6. Rethink Management


Feedback isn’t the only element of a manager’s role that may need a rethink for experimentation to thrive. There are structural elements of your business that may need addressing for you to maximize the potential of your design team.


As a part of a business that is inherently creative, ensuring that micromanagement doesn’t take hold is vital. Not only does it lead to an awkward hierarchical element of work, but it also stifles formative creativity as it gets diluted. Try to keep a hands-off approach to the creative side of things and focus your efforts on the rest. That way, your design team will be free to play, experiment, and, ultimately, innovate.


What now?

Throughout this article, we’ve discussed ways in which you can restructure your design team in a way that promotes experimentation. It’s a world that rewards inventive, creative, and progressive thinking in business. 


It might be a challenge to change working styles at first. From working from home and returning to work anxiety, businesses have countless hurdles. However, by being open with your team, incorporating a virtual landline number for better communication and including them in any changes that are made, and allowing space to fail, you can create a culture that thrives on experimentation.