At one point, we talked about RCTs (Randomized Coffee Trials. CIMPA knew the concept and liked the principles of it but raised the concern that in the business environments they are used to dealing with there would be a need for tangible business outcomes from an RCT.
In further conversation, an interesting variation of the RCT concept emerged.
- take a group of people
- take a small collection of business problems/challenges/issues
- randomly match two people with a random business issue
- ask them to meet over coffee and discuss the selected issue (no reason why they cannot discuss other things too)
- at the end of the session, each person writes up a short summary of their conversation and any ideas that emerged - these are posted and shared centrally in someway
- take one big issue and over a period of say a month, run RCTs where all the pairs discuss the same issue
- at the end of the month bring them ALL together in a Knowledge Cafe style gathering to discuss the issue further and draw some conclusions
This could be a powerful innovative process.
I think the real beauty and success of the RCTs is in the organic flow of the conversation. Focusing on tangible business outcomes although worthy and useful is maybe a little bit too organised and just a short step away from being another form of business workshop. I therefore wonder, can this variation still be considered an RCT?
What do you think and have you experimented a similar form of RCT?