Category Archives: Leaders

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

This small innovative behavior will make a big difference

This small innovative behavior will make a big difference
Creativity and innovation is more than thinking in a different way. It’s also about adopting more innovative behaviors. One of the easiest and simplest behaviors that can have a dramatic impact on your creative and innovative performance is this: Capture Ideas –immediately. It could be your ideas or someone else’s. It doesn’t matter — just capture them. You can write them down, take a photo on your phone or tear them out. The important point is to capture them. ... Read more

Six ways leaders can reduce the risks of innovation

Six ways leaders can reduce the risks of innovation
Innovation involves trial and error, risks and failure. We all know this. But there is a problem. Most leaders and managers don’t enjoy the emotion of this. Who would? Why take a risk they  feel when the returns are uncertain? So lets deal with the emotions of this because innovation is vital. So here are a few suggestions to address how leaders feel about risk: 1. Start small. The entire basis of small wins innovation is getting more leaders to innovate, more often by going small. ... Read more

As a leader what are you and your team testing in the next 30 days?

As a leader what are you and your team testing in the next 30 days?
In much of the literature around innovation there is a strategy which talks about moving into adjacent markets. I have never really liked this description but the idea is a good one. Serving a market that is close to what you are doing at the moment makes a great deal of sense. In this example, SUBWAY is offering a range of products to the catering market (I found this outlet in the city near the business sector). In this case it builds on the strengths of SUBWAY and offers a potential new ... Read more

Where do big ideas come from?

Where do big ideas come from?
Small ideas. That’s right. Almost every big idea or big success started as a small one. An entrepreneur or small group or team in a large organisation has a small idea they think might work. They test it, measure, learn and share what happens. This is exactly the process I suggest in small wins innovation (i.e. create, test, measure, learn & share). Then they iterate.  Again and again. Over time a small idea can transform into a bigger one. The implications? You can never tell in ... Read more

What is the starting point for innovative thinking?

What is the starting point for innovative thinking?
Innovation nearly always starts with a question. For example: It could be a ‘why’ type question: Why do we keep producing this report? Why don’t customers buy from us? Why are people always late for our meetings? Or asking ‘what’ type questions: What are the problems with our customer service? What are customers really looking for in a new product? Or ‘how’ type questions: How can we reduce our customer’s waiting time by 10%? How can we ... Read more

What is an effective innovation KPI for leaders?

What is an effective innovation KPI for leaders?
We all know KPI’s are important. In theory they are a guide to what you and your team believe to be important and serve as a form of evaluation (i.e. to what extend did you achieve your KPI’s). One of the problems leaders have wrestled with is what is an appropriate and effective KPI for innovation? If it is for the people responsible for innovation then there are a number of measures. For example: – time to market – sales of products less that 3 years old – ... Read more

How small leadership actions can have a big impact

How small leadership actions can have a big impact
In Australian politics at the moment the current Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott is facing a potential challenge from a number if his rivals. Yet only 1 week ago his position seemed safe and his performance whilst not outstanding was considered adequate. But then he made a decision. A decision in the scheme of things which was quiet small. He decided to offer a knighthood to Prince Philip in the UK. This set off a firestorm of complaints which has led him now fighting for his political life. ... Read more

What do leaders think of small wins innovation?

What do leaders think of small wins innovation?
I gave a half-day workshop yesterday to a future leaders group on small wins innovation. Their reaction was overwhelmingly positive (I know it is self-serving but it was true). The brief from the HR director was to make innovation more accessible and to reinforce the idea that innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, trying to reduce waiting time for a check-out. The problem they face with innovation was two-fold. Firstly they believed that innovation by definition had to be ... Read more

A simple way for leaders to test & learn

A simple way for leaders to test & learn
I recently had a meeting with a leader from a major bank and she told me about their formal test and learn program. The basic outline is as follows: - it involves senior (executive managers) only – every quarter they must conduct a legitimate test and learn project - this is one where they genuinely are trying to learn something new or develop a new solution - the emphasis is on trying new things. A test would not be considered valid if its in the normal course of work. - every ... Read more

Might a tiny smile make a world of difference?

Might a tiny smile make a world of difference?
I was in a cafe today and the person who served me did so with great efficiency. They remembered my order and were quite attentive. They seemed to forget just one thing. They never smiled. It’s a small thing I agree. But it would have made the cafe experience for me a better one. Perhaps this applies to the fashion industry as well? The model here is beautiful. But it seems to me that many male and females selected to model clothes could afford to smile. If i was the fashion brand ... Read more