Progressive practices

With the publication of Slow Management, we’ll start compiling a list of organization and management practices that echo the sentiment of that paper. More broadly, you can think of them as different approaches that in different ways seem to take seriously emergence, uncertainty, the limits of knowledge, the challenges of control, the importance of (managerial) craft, optimism biases, the practical difficulties of reflexivity, etc. We think they’ll push you to do less, but better, work.

Here is the list so far:

Before you start a project, do a ‘premortem’. What could go wrong?

There’s a time and place for Minimal Viable Products, sure. But try alternatively to work backwards.

Stop powerpointing and make well-crafted, 6-page arguments the focus of meetings. Then, meetings can (also) serve as formal occasions for peer review.

Strategy gets used too much. But when it needs to be used, make sure it’s at least logically coherent.

When developing and commercializing innovations, consider multiple strategies. Think of it as ‘sociological imagination’, but for strategy.

Entrepreneurs (and probably innovation processes generally) need a theory.

Maybe entrepreneurs (and innovation processes generally) need a lot less data than you’d think.

Most entrepreneurial ideas are bad. Work like a scientist and conduct critical experiments to get rid of the worst ideas, and stick with those left standing.

… and maybe use these 24 steps not as a ‘recipe for a successful start-up’, but as the 24 critical experiments you want to conduct.