Accomplish More.
Juggle Less.
Everything you need to transform your work.

007: Chick-fil-A’s David Farmer on Prototyping & Piloting New Ideas — How & When to Do It

Free ebook developed by

David Farmer

a proven process that has helped the world's most successful organizations effectively launch new ideas. The ebook simplifies and organizes these principles so leaders at every level, in any situation, can more consistently get their ideas off the ground.

Learn More

About This Episode

Focus can multiply the impact of an organization’s efforts. However, distractions divide and diffuse impact. One of the most significant sources of distractions in most small businesses is us — the leaders. It’s in our nature to see all of the things that can be improved and all of the trends we need to capitalize on, but it’s on us to keep our team focused on the main thing. Luckily, some strategies allow us to explore the possibilities without derailing our team. 

In this episode, we’ll be learning how and when to prototype and pilot new ideas before launching them. Today’s guest is David Farmer, the Vice President of Restaurant Experience at Chick-fil-A — the third-largest restaurant chain in America.

1. Place a few big bets.

Continuous improvement is essential, but it’s not enough. You’re making modifications to your business today to win in the current business landscape. Unfortunately, the market is always changing, which means your improvements today and could be obsolete in a year. To ensure your organization is ready for what’s to come, you’ll need to strategically place a few big bets on where you see the market going so you can begin preparing yourself and your organization to meet your customers’ future needs.

2. Create a culture of innovation.

The future of your organization can be cultivated by more than the leader of the team. However, it’s hard to maximize contributions from the team when every new idea or solution is developed by chance. It’s impractical to wait for the right idea to be shared at the right time by the right person so the right decision-maker will hear it. Serendipity isn’t a strategy. Use or create a process for innovation that safeguards the organization from overly diffusing resources, decentralizes creativity to engage the entire team, and continually prepares the organization for the future.

3. Think big and start small.

Developing expensive, near-complete versions of our ideas and solutions often skews our perspective as leaders. We think about all the money and hours our organization spent on the idea, and we become more invested in the idea than the outcome. To give our heads level and reduce risk, prototype your ideas first in the simplest, fastest, and cheapest way possible. Surprisingly, by limiting your financial and time investment, you’ll also limit your emotional investment and empower yourself to make better decisions.

4. Require feedback.

As leaders, we’ve spent our career refining our intuition. However, our instincts are most useful in situations similar to something we’ve experienced before. The focus of innovation is doing something new, something your organization has never done before. So, if you want to trust your gut, do it while you’re developing your prototype. After that, require feedback from your team and, most importantly, your customers. The only to verify your solution works is to let the people who buy it use or experience it.


One Next Step Podcast on White Smartphone

Recommended For You

128: Collaborative Intelligence: Unleashing the Power of AI-Assisted Productivity

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, harnessing the power of technology and artificial intelligence has become essential for businesses and professionals aiming to thrive in their respective fields. Today, we have the privilege of hearing from a remarkable duo who have embraced the potential of AI to enhance their productivity and streamline their work processes.

Wes Gay is a StoryBrand Certified Guide, Agency Owner, and Private Workshop Facilitator. And since 2016, he’s helped hundreds of organizations find clarity with StoryBrand. Jodi Reiter is an accomplished Executive Assistant, bringing a wealth of experience from the marketing, advertising and photography industries as she supports Wes. They sat down with Ryan to share their experiences, strategies and success stories in utilizing AI to collaborate more efficiently and achieve remarkable outcomes. Listeners will learn about the most impactful AI tools on the market and how to weave them into your daily workflow.

127: Maxwell Leadership Exclusive: Using Time or Abusing Time

Today on the podcast, we have a special episode courtesy of our friends at the Maxwell Leadership Podcast. BELAY CFO Lisa Zeeveld sat down with Mark Cole recently to co-host an episode of the Maxwell Leadership Podcast about how to get time back as a leader.

126 Bonus: How to Keep Priority Emails From Getting Lost In the Mix

In this Bonus Next Step, Tricia and LZ share how to identify and prioritize your most important emails so they don’t get lost in the mix.