Category Archives: Culture

Examples of how small wins can build a more engaged, innovative & productive culture

Why small wins innovation has a big impact

Why small wins innovation has a big impact
Innovation is important but … In my conversations with leaders over the years they all would agree that innovation is one of their top 3 priorities. Yet many of them were not doing anything innovative (they would say). Why the disconnect? in their quieter moments they admitted that innovation involved risk and failure and they were (not surprisingly) not excited about this prospect. This is why I developed Small Wins Innovation. My idea was to overcome this fear of failure and making ... Read more

How small wins can change behaviour

How small wins can change behaviour
‘Around 55,000 Australians go to hospital with a heart attack every year and around one third of those are repeat heart attacks.’ Associate Professor Clara Chow, The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney In an effort to reduce these alarming figures particularly the repeat rate the researchers tried something new. They sent a series of simple text messages to the patients (4 per week) for 6 months in an attempt to improve their health. Patient received texts such as: ... Read more

How to innovate – one small win at a time*

How to innovate – one small win at a time*
Disruptive innovation is everywhere it seems. There’s an ongoing fixation with the next Uber, Netflix, WhatsApp or Airbnb. Even perennial technology darlings such as Twitter or Facebook seem, well, so yesterday. It’s intoxicating, heady stuff as one technological change can seemingly transform an industry and lead to growth rates going through the roof. But for every game-changing success there are thousands of failures which are not so glamorous. The lesson therefore is to dream big but to ... Read more

The key to innovation – small steps

The key to innovation – small steps
We like to think of creativity and innovation as a breakthrough moment made by a special individual with amazing gifts. This may be true with artistic creativity. But in the world of organisations and business the truth is somewhat different. For a start, increasingly innovation is a team game. A new product is rarely the result of a lone individual working in a corner. More often it is the result of a team of diverse individuals that have harnessed their talents in pursuit of a collective ... Read more

The secret to innovative organisations

The secret to innovative organisations
Everyone wants to know the secret of innovative organisations. These organisations seem to be able to produce breakthrough new ideas and products — on demand. But how do these innovative organisations do it? My observation is this. They have more people innovating, more often. It’s that simple. Yet so hard. Think of a gym. What makes a vibrant gym? It’s the friendliness of the staff, the quality of the instructors and the gym equipment. But it’s also the number of ... Read more

Would young leaders be better off by thinking small?

Would young leaders be better off by thinking small?
Leaders are encouraged to think big. They are encouraged to create a big vision and make big changes. But is this the only way? What about the mid-level managers? Or young, future or emerging leaders? They often do not have the opportunity to make these dramatic changes even if they wanted to. So we need a new approach. I call this The Small Wins Way. It encourages young leaders to: – form small teams, – take on small challenges – with small budgets – take small ... Read more

Can big companies still do big innovation?

Can big companies still do big innovation?
Think of all the big, disruptive innovations or new business models and you realise that almost none of these have come from big companies. For example: Uber Twitter Instagram Gum Tree Air B&B I could go on. These are big companies now but they all started by often young entrepreneurs. And what happens is that in the market-place of new business ideas the best ones rise to the top. They then get bought for big dollars by a big company . For example: Facebook has acquired more that 40 ... Read more

The Small Wins Way vs Business Improvement

The Small Wins Way vs Business Improvement
I was just asked by a leader of a large financial organisation: How does The Small Wins way compare to Business Improvement? This is what I said (although in fewer words): How the 2 approaches are similar: Both: - Adopt a continuous journey mindset - Have a formal, semi-structuredprocess  - Are important to an organisation’s ability to adapt, change and grow - Value measurement and learning But there are important differences: The Small Wins Way is: - Aimed at developing a higher ... Read more

How to make a small difference – everyday

How to make a small difference – everyday
I recently gave a presentation to a MBA class on the Small Wins Way approach to innovation, change and leadership. I started the conversation by asking them: Could they recall a small change in their life that led to a big difference? Here are some of their reflections: - I started having breakfast each day which that I had more energy throughout the day and I stopped snacking. - I now don’t look at my email for the first hour of my working day. This means that I can do my best ... Read more

How to brainstorm big, new ideas in minutes

How to brainstorm big, new ideas in minutes
I had an insight a few years ago when I was working with managers and leaders. During their planning away-days I noticed that when they were working in a group and had one hour to address a challenge, nothing much happened until I opened the door of their room and said – 10 minutes to go. Then there was a flurry of activity, ideas and energy. In next to no time the group often generated some amazing ideas. I wondered. How much time did an individual or group really needed to start ... Read more