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The power of rapid experimentation in innovation: “It’s been fun yet puzzling”

Experimentation lies at the heart of innovation, and some might argue that there’s no innovation without experimentation.

The six internal teams of Posti’s innovation program, X-celerator, have now made it to the third week of the innovation journey, and toward more systematic and precise experimentation. Rapid experimentation provides the teams with instant feedback to shape the ideas by reinforcing, adjusting, or complementing existing hypotheses with new knowledge and insights.💡 Katja Rahkola and Vivi Kiukkanen, working in the same innovation team, are surprised at how much they have accomplished in such a short amount of time. “It’s been fun yet puzzling to move quickly from an idea to experimentation and validation. For example, we made a public website for our idea, although it wasn't clear to us how the service would work in practice. Through the website and Facebook ad, we received the contact information of several people interested in the service. It was a good signal that the service interests’ customers.” Another participant of the innovation program, Enni Partanen, also accentuates that experiments with customers have been eye-opening. “We came into the program with ideas somehow prepared and it was eye-opening to come together and start to design the service hand in hand with the customer,” Enni says.

Innovation teams used assumption mapping to prioritize what kind of insight was still needed to develop their service. The understanding helped to systematically choose and formulate what they want to learn during the next experiment. Above all, a supportive and motivated team makes the experimentation much more fun. “It’s valuable that people around the organization with different backgrounds and competencies come to the same table with a coach supporting to go in the right direction,” Katja, Vivi, and Enni conclude. Posti's 2-month innovation program, X-celerator, aims to bring together people from across the organization to work together, cultivate innovation and learn new skills. Participants get a chance to witness their ideas become a reality.