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The Experimentation Field Book with Natalie Foley — DT101 E123

Natalie Foley has over 20 years of experience leading teams in designing and launching new products, programs, and strategies across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Recently, she joined Opportunity at Work, where she builds, tests, and launches new services to help rewire the labor market for the 71 million workers in America whose skills were acquired through alternative routes instead of a four-year degree. Today on the show, we catch up with Natalie, who was one of our first guests on the podcast, and talk about The Experimentation Field Book, which she co-authored with Jeanne Liedtka, Elizabeth Chen, and David Kester.

Portrait of Natalie Foley

Listen to Learn About

>> Experimentation and iterative learning
>> The Experimentation Field Book
>> Why experiment? The benefits of experimentation
>> Opportunity@Work’s mission

Our Guest

Natalie has 20+ years of experience leading teams in designing & launching new products, programs and strategies across the private, public & not-for-profit sectors. Recently, she has joined Opportunity@Work, where she builds, tests & launches new services for employers and employer networks to help rewire the labor market for the 71M workers in America who are STARs* (Skilled Through Alternative Routes, instead of a four-year degree). At Peer Insight, she served as CEO & led partnerships that contributed to dozens of new business ventures with clients like Nike, Kimberly-Clark, AARP, Canon, the Good Samaritan Society and ArcBest, several of which have become multi-million dollar revenue streams. Natalie began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, where she supported clients such as Allstate, the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Afghanistan program in technology & strategy initiatives. She is the co-author of a forthcoming book (available soon for pre-order), The Experimentation Field Book: A Step-by-Step Project Guide.

Show Highlights

[03:02] Natalie offers gratitude for the DT101 podcast and the learning community it has fostered.
[03:42] Natalie catches us up since her 2018 podcast episode.
[04:03] Moving on from Peer Insight.
[05:05] Taking a role at Opportunity@Work.
[05:26] More than 50% of the American workforce are STARs.
[08:12] Running experiments in one’s personal and professional life.
[09:13] How design thinking frees the learner.
[10:25] Why Natalie wrote The Experimentation Field Book.
[12:49] Natalie offers thoughts on moving out of one’s comfort zone and trying something new.
[16:59] The Experimentation Field Book will be available at booksellers November 24th.
[17:12] How Natalie met Jeanne Liedtka.
[17:50] Jeanne approached Natalie about Peer Insight’s “secret sauce.”
[18:31] Design thinking’s superpower.
[18:48] What’s missing from the design thinking methodology and how the book fills that gap.
[20:36] The book gives the reader step-by-step ways to run their own experiments.
[21:40] The baggage that can come along with the word experimentation.
[24:16] The first step is to frame a testable idea.
[28:23] Build like you’re right, and test like you’re wrong.
[31:20] A Miro Moment.
[33:32] Opportunity@Work is creating services to help broaden the hiring mindset from only equating degrees with skillsets to looking at other ways of determining someone’s ability to do the job.
[34:17] Four things intriguing Natalie about her current nonprofit work.
[34:48] We’re designing for a world that doesn’t exist yet.
[36:11] Looking at how non-profits receive funding.
[37:12] The ambiguity and attachment struggle in a non-profit world where people are very passionate about their mission.
[37:49] Dealing with the feelings associated with the word experimentation.
[38:44] The Experimentation Field Book is made for everyone, not just designers.
[40:56] The process in the book helps people to not become too attached to one idea.
[43:24] The book empowers anyone to put together and run an experiment on themselves or within their organization.


Natalie on LinkedIn
Natalie on Twitter
Opportunity at Work
Using Design Thinking to Empower the ‘Human’ in HR
6 steps to knowing how to know | Natalie Foley | TEDxCharlottesville
Design Thinking: Four Steps for Innovation
Peer Insight

Book Recommendation

The Experimentation Field Book: A Step-by-Step Project Guide, by Jeanne Liedtka, Elizabeth Chen, Natalie Foley, and David Kester

Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like

Designing for the Greater Good, Strategy + Design Thinking, and Measuring Design Thinking with Jeanne Liedtka — DT101 E1
Leading a Design Thinking Consultancy, Betting Small to Win Big, and Driving Business Growth with Design Thinking with Natalie Foley — DT101 E5
Experiencing Design: The Innovator’s Journey with Karen Hold — DT101 E71

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