Category Archives: Leaders

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

How much time should leaders spend thinking?

How much time should leaders spend thinking?
Leaders are always telling me that they are so busy that they have no time to think. This comment has always amazed me because you would imagine thinking is part of the role of any leader. If they are not thinking well — who is? This is particularly important given that most work is knowledge based. Perhaps we need to start setting a thinking goal for every leader? What about this to start the ball rolling? 1% Yes — Leaders dedicate 1% of their time (they are awake) to thinking ... Read more

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?
Feedback! This was beautifully illustrated to me with my daughter at her school recently. She is entering her critical final years at a private school (lucky for her). The principal highlighted to the parents that the school had built a powerful feedback system for all their final year students. She gave the example of a student obtaining say a mark of 10 out of 15 for an essay at the beginning of term. The teachers then kick into action and give some practical, specific and actionable ... Read more

What are small wins?

What are small wins?
The concept of small wins was first coined by Organizational theorist Karl Weick. He made the point that many social problems seem so big (e.g. world hunger) that they feel overwhelming resulting in inaction and feelings of helplessness. I quote from his seminal 1984 article on small wins -Redefining the scale of social problems: “The massive scale on which social problems are conceived often precludes innovative action because the limits of bounded rationality are ... Read more

A case study in small wins

A case study in small wins
I love this case study. It is from a blog post from Sam Thomas Davies. I hope he doesn’t mind me repeating it in full because it is beautifully written. ‘When gay liberation groups started campaigning against homophobia in the late 1960s, their initial efforts only yielded a string of failures. They urged lesbians and gay men to “come out”, and to dismantle and rebuild social institutions without defined sexual roles. But were roundly defeated in state legislatures. Teachers ... Read more

Do awards matter to consumers?

Do awards matter to consumers?
The short answer is yes. If the award is authentic then displaying an award or highlighting it on your web site or social media is a great idea. Particularly if the award has been awarded based on effort, standards or performance. It gives the consumer greater confidence and demonstrates pride in your achievement. It’s a small wins strategy at work. A badge of honour that could make a big difference. It’s a classic win – win. Read more

What do high-performing, innovative teams have in common?

What do high-performing, innovative teams have in common?
Diversity. This diversity can take many forms. For example in: – perspectives - personality - roles - experience - skills - age and sex Having greater diversity in a group means the range of ideas or solutions expands dramatically. It also means that there is less chance of groupthink hence decision-making should be more effective. But there is one catch. Diverse teams still need to interact and communicate intensely. In short: Diversity plus collaboration equals innovation success. ... Read more

What is the ultimate consumer response?

What is the ultimate consumer response?
Thank you! The ultimate consumer, user or client response is thank you. Just in this example in a supermarket where a ball was placed right near the cat food. This is a great idea and saves the shopper needless time searching for something for the cat to play with. It’s a small idea with a big pay-off. It could be a thank-you for your: – thoughtfulness or - attention to detail or - beautiful design or - use of my data in a proactive way or - friendliness or - a new idea or - ... Read more

9 ways leaders can celebrate small wins

9 ways leaders can celebrate small wins
One of the features of the small wins approach is the emphasis on celebrating at the end of a project. In fact, part of the reason I like small wins is because the projects are small and frequent, there are there are many more opportunities to celebrate. Remember the win could be the attainment of a goal and/or a new insight or piece of learning. But many leaders don’t know how to celebrate with their group or team. Part of the reason according to BJ Fogg, PhD, Director, Persuasive ... Read more

How a 1% change can make a real difference

How a 1% change can make a real difference
One of my starting points for small wins is to ask managers and leaders to commit to a 1% improvement goal in the next 30 days. It does not matter what the goal is — the aim  is just to encourage leaders to start innovating. The goal is to make a small difference then see the benefits and repeat. Before you know it you (and your team) have created a new positive habit. The mechanism is small wins. One such company that does this on a systematic basis is Atlassian - a software company ... Read more

How small wins can help you achieve a bigger goal.

How small wins can help you achieve a bigger goal.
Our youngest daughter (not her in the picture) is about to obtain her learners car license. It will take her a minimum of 12 months and 120 hours of driving to achieve a provisional license (which has to be recorded in a log book). So the big goal is to obtain her license in 1 year’s time — the first time. It’s a big and important goal for her. But the only way she can get there is through a series of small wins. In no particular order she must learn how to: – Start ... Read more