Chief of Tinkering: Quick Tips I Learned Messing Up Along The Way

by Ben “Chief of Tinkering” Clayton

Over the years as Double Jump Media has grown from a one man band operation to a small team, my role has shifted dramatically. If I needed to quickly sum up my primary function in any given workweek, it would be Chief of Tinkering.

A few quick tips that I’ve learned from messing up along the way:

If you are attempting to improve the effectiveness of your workflow, it must be done in a controlled environment.

Sameness is key. Everyone on your team must be performing tasks in the same way each time aside from the new variable you are testing. As tempting as it is, a complete system overhaul is not the way to go.

In the scenario of changing multiple variables in a system simultaneously, how are you able to track which variant of your system is producing the optimal result? Sure, you may have some success with this method but you will never unlock the full potential of your organization. Inevitably, you will be stuck trying to grow new leaves on dead limbs without knowing the cause of death in the first place.

Clearly defined test periods are required for you to not hemorrhage time or money.

Even if you have come back from the latest marketing guru’s think summit full of million dollar ideas to implement in your organization, you need to slow yourself down in a hurry. Jumping the gun will ruin you in a heartbeat.

A simple “if this then that” statement is essential to capping the length of your experimentation and avoiding running your operation into the ground. Example: “If I don’t see x% increase in leads/sales/etc in the next 30 days, then I will shut this experiment down.”

If it ain’t working, walk away from the table.

Don’t shut an idea down unless it’s tested.

Unless you have empirical data that explains otherwise, treat any idea as potentially valid until it has been properly experimented with.  I’ve found most of my resistance to organizational change in times past quite irrational in hindsight. Some of the newer, more effective methods we employ make me question how we got so far without them in the first place.

Lean on logic and probability and you’ll go quite far. But don’t believe me unless you’ve tested it for yourself.

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