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I’ve always been a believer is small tests over long-term planning.  Get some feedback from your customers and start putting different messages or prices or offers in front of people.  Measure, refine, repeat.  The internet is heaven-sent for this purpose.

I just returned from a seminar on Complexity Theory that preached fundamentally the same thing.  In today’s world it’s far better to immediately engage with the “system” (employees, customers, etc.).  They call it “Probe, Sense, Respond.”  A more precise approach, but small tests (probes), measure (sense) and refine and repeat (respond) all the same.

And then, wow, yesterday, I was having a smoothie with my trainer Chuck after a workout and he said the same damned thing I heard Dave Snowden, the Welsh intellectual who I flew a thousand miles to hear, say at last week’s seminar.  Chuck said, basically, he’s a visual person.  He looks at a person’s body and can see their weaknesses and strengths.  After a couple questions about their goals he JUST STARTS them in a workout and watches what they can and can’t do, what gets their heart rate up, etc.  He asks them how they feel before the next workout and adjusts accordingly.  Small tests, measure, refine, repeat.  Probe, sense, respond.

Judging from Chuck’s following and how he’s helped me, his system works great.

The idea of JUST STARTING is a powerful one.