I was discussing the various blog posts and feedback from #stoos with my friend and colleague @bjoernlinder and I realized that they seem to be pursuing a different strategy than I would have used. To describe this I would like to use the metaphor of boat building:
Let's say we have come up with a much better way to build boats. We see everyone else sailing around in what we think are really crappy boats and we have an idea about how to build boats better. So what do we do? Do we try to evangelize about our fantastic boat idea and try to get everyone else to build our fantastic new boat design instead of their own? No, we don't. We do not do this because it will have little chance of success. What we decide to do is to find a sympathetic boat builder that we can convince to do an experiment; to build one of our fantastic boats for us. Once our fantastic boat is built and sailing and everyone can see that it out-performs all the other boats then the boat builders will naturally want to use our design and convincing them will no longer be a problem!
So how does this relate to our problem and #stoos?
I have been eagerly reading the various feedback and blog posts from #stoos and am struck by the seemingly theoretical nature of the output. For example, we have now a list of stakeholders. We already know the stakeholders, any one of us could have sat down in a room and written that! We might not agree 100% on the order of importance but who cares? These details are not important. We are discussing evangelizing about our ideas when what we need are examples, activities, best practices, and above all PROOF.
What I believe we should do is find some companies where we have influence that we can convince to do some experiments. Once we have a bunch of successful companies using the values and principles which we are wanting to promote, and which perform better than traditional companies and once we have some data and facts about this improvement, THEN it will be much easier to convince other companies to follow suit.
What we need are some experiments and some data and then we need to write a book documenting this and then we can change the world. Or, at least, this is what I would do.