Category Archives: Higher Performance

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

How to learn to innovate

How to learn to innovate
If you were trying to learn to surf for example you might go to a surf school to start with. Assuming you have a surfboard and can swim. You would start on the beach practicing how to get up on the board. You might also sit down with the instructor and look at the beach, the waves and places to avoid. Then you venture forth just off shore to the small waves. After many mishaps and accidents and a great deal of fun you might go out a little bit further. My point is this — you are ... Read more

Managers are running out of excuses not to innovate

Managers are running out of excuses not to innovate
Managers and leaders know innovation is vital. But they often don’t practice it. It reminds me of exercise. We know it is important yet we never seem to get around to it. We always want to start next week! It seems it’s the same with innovation. – Too tired – Too busy – Not enough people – Not enough time – It’s too big I will start next week! But next week rarely comes around. I think the best time to start to innovate is right now. Select ... Read more

The disruption alternative

The disruption alternative
Disruption is important. It is a powerful force to overturn monopolies and tired, out-dated brands and industries. Disruptive business models can also provide a huge benefit to consumers and customers like Uber for example. But following a disruption strategy if you are a manager or leader in a medium to large size organisations is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it can renew and revitalise an existing business. But it is also expensive, risky and time-consuming. There is another ... 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

How to become an awesome leader

How to become an awesome leader
I think we need a new language to talk about leadership. One that talks to all current and future leaders. Here is my suggestion. Lets try and develop awesome leaders! Here’s how to do this by using the word AWESOME: Achieve results. There are many leadership models which stress various competencies and attributes but sometimes they forget that leadership is primarily about achieving results through and with people. Results count. And so does how the outcomes are achieved but there ... 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

What about a leadership masters competition?

What about a leadership masters competition?
It’s that time of the year when the golf world turns to Augusta for this years Masters Tournament. The best male players in the world compete for this celebrated title. Even the greatest player of his generation Tiger Woods says that he has ‘worked his butt off from sun up to sun down’. This gave me an idea on how to improve the performance of every emerging leader. Perhaps every CEO should consider hosting its own Masters Type Competition for all of its future leaders ... Read more

The power of everyday leadership

The power of everyday leadership
Leadership for most people is defined as great men (traditionally) doing great deeds. Fortunately we have expanded our thinking to include the other 50% of the population (i.e. females). As such we have a much broader and better perspective of who leaders are. But perhaps we also need to let go of the great deeds part. To be sure, the Selma March led by Dr Martin Luther King some 50 years ago is a wonderful example of the big, dramatic leadership actions that make us all feel better. But is ... Read more