The Experimental Leader

Be a New Kind of Boss to Cultivate an Organization of Innovators

Melanie Parish

We live in a world informed by innovation. And yet, too many leaders in the knowledge sector are relying on instinctive, outdated—sometimes even toxic—methods to guide their teams.

It’s time for management to start innovating, too. In this bold new approach to leadership, sought-after executive coach, speaker, and author Melanie Parish shows you how to approach projects and situations with a scientist’s mindset—testing hypotheses and analyzing results in a systematic way that will enable you to experiment and refine how you deal with challenges and opportunities.


“In The Experimental Leader, Melanie Parish has brilliantly applied the principles of DevOps—culture, communication, autonomy, feedback, and experimentation—to leadership fundamentals. Enumerated in this book are tactical steps you need to embrace a growth mindset in your daily work (and life) as a leader in tech. You’ll find yourself reflecting on your leadership style, reevaluating your team’s mission and vision, and enabling everyone in your organization to iteratively improve. Whether you currently manage a team or have your eye on the C-suite, this book is the first step in actualizing your leadership potential.”

“For technology companies, building tools to pilot product features and optimize customer experience with A/B testing and measurement of real-world interactions are not new. And yet, applying these same techniques to improving how our organizations perform their work is surprisingly nascent. Melanie Parish delves deeply to illustrate what it looks like when leaders, at all levels, apply the time-tested techniques of inquiry, evaluation, and constant refinement to a new frame: the daily practice of our work, how groups engage with each other, and ultimately how value is delivered. It works for apps beloved by billions, and it can work just as effectively for your teams and your business… and The Experimental Leader shows you how.”

The Experimental Leader provides an entirely new way of approaching leadership—one that offers a methodical and measurable way to achieve real progress in creating a culture of innovation. By applying a scientific, experimental, and modern mindset to leadership, Melanie Parish not only shows leaders how to shed old, unhelpful habits but also gives them the tools to strive for—and achieve—better outcomes.”

“I’ve been in a leadership position in my profession for over twenty years and The Experimental Leader has given me an opportunity to refresh my approach to working with my team. I navigate, on a daily basis, a fast-moving and multifaceted environment on a television show. The Experimental Leader helped me to evaluate my current leadership skills and to identify and troubleshoot in areas where I will see positive change for myself and my team. I look forward to using experiments and techniques such a gemba walks and utilizing the ‘Test the Theory’ questions in each chapter. I will return to this book again and again. My best takeaway from The Experimental Leader that I will apply to my daily leadership challenges is ‘Intents describe what will be accomplished. Your people determine how the work will be done.’”

Melanie Parish is a consultant, workshop leader, facilitator, and Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, from which she received the Prism Award. An expert in problem solving, operations, strategic hiring, and brand development, Melanie has consulted and coached organizations ranging from a Fortune 50 company to IT start-ups. Her individual clients include those in FAANG and other top global IT companies.

As an author, educator, and creator of the Experimental Leader program, Melanie shows people new ways of thinking about their leadership, informed by her understanding of the fast-paced ride of technology innovation. She is based in Dundas, Ontario.

ISBN 978-1-989603-14-7
$19.95 CAD $16.95 USD
Published April 7, 2020
5.5 × 8.5 168 Pages
Paperback, ebook