July 12, 2021

What does "safe to try" actually mean?

If you’ve ever worked with another human being, you’ve probably had trouble reaching agreement on a decision at some point. Adopting a practice of asking if something is “safe to try” can help. 

When asked if a working agreement is “safe to try,” you’re not being asked if you agree with every word on the page or whether you are willing to commit to the agreement for life. If the agreement won't cause irreparable harm, it’s probably worth giving it a whirl. 

Here are three principles to up your safe-to-try game: 

  • Everything is an experiment: When we write things down, it can feel like we’re committing for life. In reality, we just need to try something out for long enough to learn what worked and what didn’t. Murmur helps users adopt an experimental mindset using expiration dates and regular feedback loops. 
  • Consent is not consensus: In a consent-based system, you’re not trying to please everyone, as is often the case with consensus. In Murmur, an agreement moves forward if there are no objections and everyone consents to try it out. Oftentimes we object to something because we’re afraid of consequences that, in most cases, are unclear or don’t actually exist. Murmur uses an “objection test” to help users think about objections through a safe-to-try lens. 
  • Progress is always better than perfection: Trying to get things “right” is a common obsession in business, and it’s not serving us. In Murmur, the Murmur Method helps focus our attention on what really matters: gaining clarity (not certainty) through questions, improving the idea (not tearing it apart) through suggestions, and trying it out (not obsessing over getting it perfect) through consent. 

Check out this article from our friends at The Ready for a deeper dive.