Category Archives: Higher Performance

Small wins is a powerful way to lift performance. It’s actionable, concrete and effective.

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

What leaders can learn from the ballet

What leaders can learn from the ballet
We just spent a delightful evening at the ballet at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Not only was it an amazing experience but as I reflected on the performance I was struck with how much leaders could learn from this experience also. Here are a few: - The pursuit of excellence. There was nothing ordinary about this performance. The audience expected an was given a world-class show. Leaders — what are your standards? Are you building a world-class team? - The diversity of the group. ... 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

What leaders can learn from burnt toast

What leaders can learn from burnt toast
This is a story of burnt toast. Burnt toast you say! Yes I was having breakfast the other day at one of my favourite cafes and I asked for another slice of toast with my scrambled eggs. The friendly staff brought out the toast but it was burnt. Now I should have sent it back or said something. But like most other consumers or customers I did not make a fuss at the time but rather have decided to write a blog about my experience. You see, a slice of toast is a small thing. The cafe is ... 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

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

The one thing that creative people do – a lot!

The one thing that creative people do – a lot!
Here it is. Are you ready? Creatieve people spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off other people. You just have to watch or listen to them. For example: ‘Hey jane, have you got 5 minutes — i just want to bounce an idea off you.’ Creative people know that great ideas emerge from the interactions of a diverse range of people. They have a starting or initial idea but they would like to get a quick reaction. They also look for people who are open to new ideas and that they ... Read more