While theft is a firing offense at Caesars, so too is running an experiment without a control group.
Gary Loveman, CEO, president and chairman of Caesars Entertainment, puts a continued focus on data analysis and small-scale testing that can scale into companywide initiatives.
The goal: To get customers to spend more money during their playtime.
Loveman observes that leaders often make the mistake of relying on their experience and analysis over simple experiments. His advice to fellow leaders:
Get over a romantic appreciation for instinct. What’s lacking is rigorous scientific approaches.
Intuit founder Scott Cook also encourages trial-and-error approach. He tells his staff: “Whatever happens, you’re doing right, because you’ve created evidence, which is better than intuition.”
If aggressive testing is such a no-brainer, why aren’t more companies doing it? Chalk it up to an old-fashioned aversion to change.
Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, often has tried to help companies do experiments but usually fails.
For example, for a company struggling with getting a good bonus system in place, Ariely suggested experiments or even just a survey.
said no. They “didn’t want to add to the trouble by messing with people’s bonuses merely for the sake of learning,” says Ariely. “But the employees are already unhappy, I thought, and the experiments would have provided evidence for how to make them less so in the years to come.”
lesson: Strive to create a culture of experimentation in which the inevitable failures are deemed OK.
— Adapted from “In Experiments We Trust,” Leslie Brokaw, MIT Sloan Management Review.