Category Archives: Culture

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

Why innovation is too important to be left to the innovation department

Why innovation is too important to be left to the innovation department
Innovation like quality and customer service is everybody’s responsibility. It is just far too important. But let’s leave the big, disruptive innovation projects to the innovation department. Much like we can leave the ultra marathons to the super fit. But we can all improve our running and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Innovative thinking for leaders and groups and teams is exactly the same. We need more creativity to solve customer and client problems in new and ... Read more

What is Mark Zuckerberg’s small wins goal?

What is Mark Zuckerberg’s small wins goal?
One of the starting points for small wins innovation is for every individual leader to regularly set themselves small goals. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has just started doing something similar. His goal (after consultation with a Facebook community) is to: “My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week — with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.” He has embraced other similar smaller goals such ... Read more

Why surfing is an insightful metaphor for innovation

Why surfing is an insightful metaphor for innovation
Surfing! Here’s why. 1. Freedom within limits With surfing there is an almost unlimited scope on a wave to do anything you want. There are no rules. But there are limits. You must have a board, some fitness, arm strength and ideally know how to swim for example. The same with innovation –  groups and teams can create almost anything but there are limits in terms of money, time, people, brand values etc. 2. It’s continuous Waves never stop. Nor does our imagination. Leaders ... Read more

How to see new ideas everywhere

How to see new ideas everywhere
I have changed. I used to be on the hunt for and speak glowingly about the need for big ideas. But i had been ignoring the numerous, small, appetising ideas that are all around. So now that I look for and value smaller ideas – I see them everywhere. Experience it for yourself. Walk into into any store or business or organisation and ask yourself – what is one thing these guys do well? What is one small idea I can borrow, adapt or learn from? If you do this every working day you ... Read more

As a leader did your team have a few small wins today?

As a leader did your team have a few small wins today?
Research by Teresa Amabile suggests that helping people make even the smallest progress towards some goal is highly motivating. This insight is behind much of my work on small wins innovation. Ask yourself — did my team or group have a small wins today? Did we make some progress? It could be for example — we made a good decision or everyone contributed in a group exercise or people were buzzing with new ideas or solutions. Small wins everyday is the key to building a more ... Read more

How small changes can help you reach a bigger goal

How small changes can help you reach a bigger goal
I love this TED talk by Kelly McGonigal a psychologist at Stanford University on goal setting. In particular her emphasis on making small changes that can help you achieve a bigger goal. In Kelly’s words': “People often get lost thinking they have to change everything all at once,” says McGonigal. “But small changes can pave the way for bigger changes.” Ask yourself, what is the smallest thing I can do today that helps me reach my goal? For example, if you’re shy and you want to be ... Read more

The new mantra for leaders and their teams

The new mantra for leaders and their teams
I am reading a powerful new book by Mark McClusky called: Faster, higher, stronger – How sports science is creating a new generation of superatletes and what we can learn from them. The idea is that small, continuous improvements in training, diet, coaching, equipment etc — sports people are performing at a higher and higher levels. He argues the reason athletes have to do this is the era of massive leaps is over. There is a new game in town — small improvements stacked on ... Read more

What is the small wins compound effect?

What is the small wins compound effect?
Everyone knows that if you invest some money in an account that your initial sum can rise due to the effect of compound interest (i.e. interest on your interest). I suspect the same is true of innovation and change. Someone or some group or team needs to start innovating. It can be small. Then they learn from the experience and share their results. They try again on another problem, issue or opportunity. But they also inspire another group to try. Now leaders start to talk about innovation ... Read more

How even small wins can motivate, energise your team

How even small wins can motivate, energise your team
I have long been a fan of Harvard Professor Teresa M. Amabile and in particular  her concept of the progress principle. This is how she explains the concept. Through exhaustive analysis of diaries kept by knowledge workers, we discovered the progress principle: Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more ... Read more

If you don’t pick up the broken glass – who will?

If you don’t pick up the broken glass – who will?
My dad was an ambulance officer and as a kid I remember being totally embarrassed by the fact that whenever we saw some broken glass he would go and pick it up. It was not our broken glass. But that was the point. He knew that if you left broken glass lying around then invariably some kid might step on it and cut themselves. It was a small action. But an important one. He assumed responsibility to make a difference to someone else’s life. It’s what leaders do. It’s what ... Read more