Category Archives: Leaders

Examples of how leaders can apply small wins to their team – everyday.

A small, creative way to enhance the customer experience

A small, creative way to enhance the customer experience
I came across this at the Auckland airport in New Zealand. Rather than follow the yellow brick road you follow the green line. The green line connects the international airport with the domestic one. It’s a brisk 10 minute walk. A simple, innovative way to make it easier  for passengers to move from one airport to the other. As a leader what’s a small change you could introduce to make the customer experience better?   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

The best ideas often come from the smallest companies

The best ideas often come from the smallest companies
Big companies often look at other large companies for inspiration. A more insightful strategy is to look at smaller companies that are doing interesting things. Look for companies with buzz and growth. Here is a tiny example — a local cafe produced sandwiches for a conference and gave a code for all the wraps. A simple idea. It saves you exploring each wrap to see what might be inside. How can you make the customer experience better, faster or easier? 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

How to build a daily creativity habit?

How to build a daily creativity habit?
Creative thinking is a skill. The more you practice the better you will become given the right tools, environment and a bit of encouragement. So how much should you and your group practice? As a starting point consider this. 1% of your waking time. This is 1% of say 12 hours. 7.2 minutes per day to be precise. But let’s say 10 minutes. To really improve I am suggesting that every manager or leader should aim to spend at least 10 minutes per day practicing their creative thinking. It ... Read more

Where to start with your creative thinking?

Where to start with your creative thinking?
I recently ran a creative thinking workshop with a group of leaders and in the break one of the leaders asked me this. Where do you start with your creative thinking? This is a great question. My suggestion was to start with a problem. Or a new question. You need to have a focus for your creativity. Here is a great solution to the problem — how to put on a band aid with one hand? Read more

What is brick by brick innovation?

What is brick by brick innovation?
In a recent interview with Carlos Ghosn*, chairman of the Renault Nissan Alliance,  he mentioned that they were using a ‘brick by brick’ innovation strategy. I love this idea for leaders. Rather than trying to do everything at once you can do it layer by layer. This means that you can start now introducing small wins as the team works with the end in mind. As Ghosn comments: “….it will a piece by piece, “by brick” innovation, where different technologies ... 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