Category Archives: Employee Engagement

Examples of how leaders can engage their team through small wins

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

What’s the most important innovative behaviour?

What’s the most important innovative behaviour?
Recently I gave a workshop on creative thinking and innovation to a group of leaders of a well known brand in China. I was particularly keen to talk to the creative director and I asked him about his process for generating ideas or solving problems. He said he shut the door and waited for inspiration to strike. I was intrigued by this approach. It no doubt works for him but i felt that this is too passive. What if inspiration does not strike? I also find it too stressful. My suggestion is ... 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 Starbucks customer experience

The Starbucks customer experience
I have been running a number of courses and workshops in Shanghai and Hong Kong on Small Wins Innovation. One of the group activities we do is to visit a Starbucks site and search for small, new ideas. Participants are fascinated with this exercise because it’s like they are seeing Starbucks for the first time. They come back with numerous images of lots of small ideas and discuss what works, what they can learn and apply to their business. Invariably they come to the conclusion that ... Read more

A small win – win for the environment

A small win – win  for the environment
It’s a small thing that more and more hotels are doing. They put up a little sign on your towel rack asking you whether you can use the towel again rather then having to wash them. It’s a classic win – win. It’s great for the environment. It’s obviously very good for the hotel as it saves, time, effort and money. And we as hotel guests feel good about doing our bit for the environment. I love this example because it is simple, easy to do and the cumulative ... Read more

How to annoy customers – it’s the small things

How to annoy customers – it’s the small things
Business owners have over the years improved their customer service. Rarely do you hear of the complete screw up. And if it does happen, most business leaders know how to handle these situations. But what I have noticed is that the customer experience battlefield is now the small things. Asking 2 or 3 times for a new fork for example. Or the key that does not work when you return to your hotel room. A friend just told me that a new cafe that just visited for the first time charged them $2 ... 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

Speed Thinking in Action

Speed Thinking in Action
I gave a talk yesterday at a conference on *Speed Thinking and it’s tool Ideas Blitz. Speed Thinking is an accelerated way of generating ideas and solving problems that can be used by individuals or small groups or teams. I developed this thinking system based on an insight. My observation working with managers and leaders was: ‘What stopped many people from being as creative or innovative as they could be was their own internal judging or self-limiting voice.’ I found ... Read more