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Double Dutch in business: Implementing new initiatives

 Max Farrell is the co-founder of Create Reason, a firm that inspires innovation and intrapreneurship inside companies to drive engagement and bold action. 

DoubledutchInventing and implementing new products or kicking off a new initiative inside a company is a lot like the jump rope game Double Dutch, which you can see in this short video\

Jumping rope is hard enough, but adding a second rope can be tricky unless you’re ready for it.

Why is it tough to add something extra to an organization?

Change is tough unless you become good at change:

Try jumping into a new job, a new campaign, a new relationship—it’s usually tricky at first.

Same with business: It takes time to get good at launching new things. People have to adapt to the change in process, embrace experimentation and keep pushing forward.

The rope is already moving:

Systems, procedures, existing software and habits are already in place for the majority of teams. A new addition has to fit with the things that are already moving as smoothly as possible. Many implementations have a razor-thin margin for error.

The rope doesn’t stop moving:

You have to make sure things fit right and happen at the right time or they fall apart. Case in point: (you’ll enjoy this short clip). Jazz musicians are a great example of a group that improvises on the fly. They jam with new players and new instruments all while keeping on beat. Businesses need to operate the same way, flexible to shifts that may occur.

You have to communicate:

In Double Dutch you have to communicate with everyone: your partners jumping in, the people swinging the rope and those watching on the sidelines.

It’s the same with business: communicate the new implementation, how it needs to be done, what needs to change and let those on the sidelines (your customers) know what’s coming so they can anticipate and react to the change.

How can you get better at Double Dutch (adding new offerings) in your company?

  • Start with why. Why do you need to add or start something new? Why is there value in this update? Answering these will clarify objectives and outcomes.

  • Get a team of specialists, either internally or externally who know how to play the game. Introducing new products and initiatives is an art and a science—experience helps. Also think about creating cross-functional teams to bring something new to life.

  • Crowdsource the approach. Great ideas don’t always come from the top, but from within. What ideas do your employees have to make a new effort amazing?

  • Over-communicate. Do this with your customers, with teams internally and anyone else involved. You don’t want to have a Double Dutch fail.

In closing:

Innovation is a crucial part of business and you’ll see an increasing focus on the topic in 2015. It’s tempting to jump right in, but first you have to make sure you and your team are ready for the rush.

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Let's keep the conversation going: 

Email: max@createreason.com

Twitter: @MaxOnTheTrack / @CreateReason

Web: CreateReason.com

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