Category Archives: Innovation

Examples of small wins innovation.

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

How one word can change a conversation

How one word can change a conversation
I ran a workshop recently with a group of leaders around innovation. One of my key points was that there are two types of innovation in an organisation. The formal e.g. new product development stage gate process And The informal. These are the spontaneous interactions around the coffee pot for example. The problem is that most leaders overemphasise the former and underemphasise the latter. The reason is this. You can never predict when an idea will emerge. Or who will come up with the ... Read more

Is the time right now for leaderful teams?

Is the time right now for leaderful teams?
I was working at a large media organisation this week and one of the corporate leaders mentioned their plans to move people around and also have younger people buddy up with older managers. This was to share and deepen the organisations collective understanding of technology and social media. I know this is a good idea because I often lean on my teenage daughter for help in these areas. Although I do notice she has a short attention span and becomes increasingly frustrated with my lack of ... Read more

A leadership development program that works

A leadership development program that works
Leadership development programs are often expensive, lengthy and involve a great deal of time for sometimes little reward. Now there is an alternative. – It’s shorter – Focused on real projects and – Costs the same (per person) as a 1 hour executive coaching session It’s called The 12 week Small Wins Way Leadership Development Program. The aim is to generate, fast, tangible results in the short-term and build a higher performance habit in the long term. The ... Read more

What is your glass of water moment of truth?

What is your glass of water moment of truth?
Imagine this scenario. You walk into a new cafe or restaurant but feel a tiny bit unsure whether to stay or not. Then the waiter suggests a table and offers you a glass of water. Before you know it, you are sitting down and examining the menu. But what happened? My theory is that it was the glass of water! It’s a small action that can generate big results. The cafe or restaurant is offering you something you need and its free. A physical and emotional transaction has taken place. I ... Read more

How a small change can make a big difference

How a small change can make a big difference
“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change.” Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook. I love this quote. Often it feels as though we are surrounded by big, disruptive changes. As a leader it can feel overwhelming and intimidating. But sometimes a small change can make a big difference. It was only 50 years ago for example, that a single African American lady — Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This single ... Read more

Learning from customer hacks

Learning from customer hacks
Recently coffee culture has really evolved. Sometimes pretentious, sometimes practical. One of my favourites is the three quarter latte. The three quarter latte is a coffee prepared with the normal coffee shot amount, but with one quarter less milk. The cup is not quite full. This gives the drinker the full taste and effect of the coffee, but less milk which is often a concern if you are drinking lots of coffee, or really just love the taste. The cup pictured is slightly smaller than my ... Read more

Want a big idea? start with a small one

Want a big idea? start with a small one
I remember meeting with the CEO of a large international packaged goods brand who spent the entire time imploring his leadership team to come up with a big idea This sounded impressive but when I asked him later in what area he wanted a big idea, he said — it didn’t matter – he just wanted a big idea, any big idea. I also queried how he might recognize a big idea. He answered – we will just know. I have spent a great deal of time in and around marketing departments and ... Read more