On July 10, we met to close out our first experiment for the Turning the Tables idea, Inside Out Calendars. This certainly wasn’t the end, but it marked the completion of our very first rapid experimentation cycle during this experimentation phase. So we wanted to pause, celebrate, and share this milestone here with you all! We’re tracking all our lessons learned and experiment progress in this dashboard. I am proud to say that our first iteration was a massive failure!
Ok, ok, that’s not entirely accurate. But we did decide at the end of this first test that we were building our whole idea on the “wrong” hypothesis. Our goal with this idea is to minimize the fundraising burden. We made an assumption as a group that the biggest part of the fundraising burden was the amount of time it takes for Forward Together staff. But as we worked through our first MVP designed to test how some sort of funder’s table might minimize staff time, we realized that time isn’t the real challenge here. The real burden is the continued and ever-increasing uncertainty around how and where we can find resources flexible enough to allow the Stronger Families network to take advantage of the many opportunities at hand.
A funder’s table designed to save time will look really different from a funder’s table designed to share this burden with a larger group of invested stakeholders and leverage greater resources for the movement. Boy, are we glad we surfaced this key distinction quickly!
One key takeaway was that we have a big hypothesis about the funder’s table that is composed of smaller hypotheses, so which smaller hypothesis we focus on really affects whether we’re asking a helpful question in advancing this big idea. AND, the rapid experiments help us quickly uncover when we may be barking up the wrong tree. This is why we force ourselves to move quickly, and schedule timely debriefs to reassess.
So let me reframe. Our first rapid experiment was a massive success in helping us learn together about what it may take for the funder’s table idea to actually decrease the fundraising burden and quickly put a bad hypothesis to rest. You can read more about next steps here. This week we’re meeting to rescope another experiment in service of Turning the Tables with an updated hypothesis. You are welcome to join our call, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.