Category Archives: Culture

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

The advantages of small thinking.

The advantages of small thinking.
Big thinking has its place. But so does small thinking. It has many advantages: – less intimidating - more people can contribute their ideas - faster - less risk - drives progress towards a bigger goal - can be taught - easier to copy, learn or adapt what others are doing - can lead to higher performance of any group or team Small thinking has helped me to see ideas everywhere. A book store for example places markers in all of the books they sell. A beautiful, small idea to constantly ... Read more

What small thing went well today?

What small thing went well today?
Dr. Martin Seligman, father of the Positive Psychology movement, suggests that we can feel better by making small changes in our life. He suggests for example that we write down each day  3 things that went well. They don’t have to be big. Just 3 things that went well today (e.g. I finished a proposal today). This simple, small exercise (he has proven) can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. As he explains: ‘We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about ... Read more

The hardware & software of innovation

The hardware & software of innovation
I am reading The Sports Gene by David Epstein and he makes the point that: ‘Superior sporting performance is always a hardware and software story. Sport skill acquisition does not happen without both specific genes and a specific envoironment, and often the genes and environment must coincide at a specific time.’ I think the same applies to innovation. There are the ‘hard’ features e.g. stage gate process, goals, innovation online platforms, key metrics etc And There ... Read more

How to build a more innovative culture

How to build a more innovative culture
When I work with groups of leaders they invariably ask me how do you build a more innovative culture? Because they believe (quite rightly) it is the key to innovation success. They feel it is the hardest element of innovation to do and the most difficult to copy. This is part of the reason why I invented small wins innovation. Suddenly innovation is framed in a way whereby everyone can play. The key? The aim is to encourage more people, to be more innovative — more often.     Read more

Why don’t we celebrate innovation success more?

Why don’t we celebrate innovation success more?
I am surprised when I work with leadership groups how often they mention the ‘C’ problem. Celebration. They realise that they are not very good at celebrating innovation success. Perhaps it is because with large scale innovation it happens so rarely. Or they are so busy. Or leaders have forgotten how to celebrate. Or the the innovation results has not gone according to plan. Whatever the reason. Leaders recognise this is a missed opportunity. This is partly why I created the ... Read more

It’s the small, everyday leadership actions that make the real difference

It’s the small, everyday leadership actions that make the real difference
Leadership and the Butterfly Effect: The term ‘butterfly effect’ was first coined by Edward Norton Lorenz (23 May 1917 – 16 April 2008). Lorenz was an American mathematician and meteorologist and a pioneer of chaos theory. The butterfly effect, according to Wikepedia is: In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic in a nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later ... Read more

What about 1 small act of kindness each day

What about 1 small act of kindness each day
*This post was inspired by the actions of a Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D). As the anniversary of the Newtown shootings approaches, he decided to do something different to honor the memory of those who lost their lives: spend his day on small acts of kindness. Inspired by a Newtown student who performed 26 acts of kindness, each one representing a child or teacher killed by gunman Adam Lanza, Sen. Chris Murphy (D) spent an entire day driving around the state performing the same number ... Read more

What is your 1% goal in the next 30 days?

What is your 1% goal in the next 30 days?
Here is a great way to start the small wins innovation process. Select one aspect of your life. e.g. making more new business calls If you are a leader select a team goal e.g. starting meetings on time Now try and improve upon it by 1% in the next 30 days. The small wins innovation process is an ideal way for you to achieve this (i.e. create, test, measure, learn & share). In the next 30 days select another 1% goal. Encourage others to do the same. Create a 1% movement in your ... Read more

A real case study of a small change that saved thousands of dollars

A real case study of a small change that saved thousands of dollars
Here is a powerful example of the power of small wins that I found in Personnel Today. Sometimes the smallest ideas make a significant difference. At Sainsbury’s, someone on the shop floor worked out that while the popularity of mangoes went up after a “two for £2.50″ deal, the packaging they came in accommodated five mangoes, so there tended to be a lot of wastage because of the odd number. Repackaging the fruit so it came in boxes of six has saved the company around £60,000 – all thanks ... Read more

How to kick-start the small wins innovation process

How to kick-start the small wins innovation process
Innovation can start by asking a new question. It can also start with a problem, challenge or issue. For example: I recently worked with a group of managers for a charity and their leader wanted to kick-start the small wins innovation process. She asked them to: Outline one small issue within your daily work where there is room for improvement. It should not be a major strategic issue. But one that if fixed will cause a minor improvement in efficiency, income, impact etc. After they had ... Read more