Category Archives: Leaders

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

How do leaders select a small wins project?

How do leaders select a small wins project?
One of the questions I often get asked by leaders is: Where do I start with small wins innovation? Here is one suggestion. Create a 2 by 2 matrix. List say 4 to 8 small projects that you might like to get done in the next 30 days. Divide these into small effort (by the team) or large effort. Then do it again but this time use the criterion — potential impact. Ideally you will have at least 1 project which requires small effort yet can generate a big impact. Start here. You and your ... Read more

What is your 1% goal for the next 30 days?

What is your 1% goal for the next 30 days?
I spent last week working with a leadership team  from a mineral technology company. One of the concepts I introduced them to was the 1% goal. I asked them to think of and commit to a improving something by 1% in the next 30 days using the small wins methodology (i.e. 5 steps). One of the leaders wanted to improve his meetings with his team. Another set her goal as improving her coaching of her team. What they all loved what the idea of a 1% goal. It seems so simple, easy and achievable. I ... Read more

How do leaders select a small wins project?

How do leaders select a small wins project?
I am often asked in my workshops and key note speeches on small wins innovation, How do you select a small wins innovation project? My rule of thumb is this: – It should be a problem, opportunity or issue where you can realistically expect to complete the 5 steps in 30 days or less (i.e. create, test, measure, learn and share). - The project is within your control or influence - The project should engage or motivate the team - There are sufficient resources e.g. time, budget or people ... Read more

Why leaders need to break down big goals into small ones

Why leaders need to break down big goals into small ones
If the goal is too big an amazing thing happens to your brain. The thinking part of your brain gets swamped by your reptilian brian. Well this is the theory of Shawn Achor in an interview in the CIO magazine . Shawn Achor is an author and former Harvard psychology professor. I quote: “The amygdala, the part of the brain that responds to fear and threats, hijacks the “thinker” part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, says Achor. The amygdala steals resources from the ... Read more

How a small leadership action can have a big impact

How a small leadership action can have a big impact
I recently came across an interview in the CIO magazine with Shawn Achor, a former Harvard psychology professor on the merits of Emotional Intelligence. One of his suggestions of how leaders could apply this on a practical level really caught my eye. He suggests the leaders write one positive e-mail each morning for 21 days when they opened their inboxes, praising or thanking someone for good work.  According to Achor,  “It’s just a two sentence e-mail. You can increase social ... Read more

A small program to get rid of the dumb things we do

A small program to get rid of the dumb things we do
An organisation that I do some consulting work for have introduced a program called The Dumb Things We Do. The aim of the program is to highlight then stop the many dumb things that managers and leaders all do (or are asked to do) in an organisation. It is not aimed at any person, group or function but to simply reduce the number of dumb actions or activities. It could be for example, printing off a 60 page report when sending a person a digital file might be more than enough. I love the ... Read more

What are the differences between incremental & small wins innovation?

What are the differences between incremental & small wins innovation?
I was asked yesterday in a workshop I gave to an Executive MBA group, what are the key differences between incremental and small wins innovation? Here is what I said: How the 2 concepts are similar: – Both deal with small changes – Continuous journey – Quick – Cheaper than big disruptive innovation projects – Frequent But the 2 concepts differ significantly in these areas: – Small wins innovation has a broader scope — the aim of small wins is to ... Read more

What is ‘win – win’ innovation?

What is ‘win – win’ innovation?
My passion (other than world peace) is a concept that I have developed which I call small wins innovation. It’s the idea that innovative thinking can be learned and applied by every leader and team to a series of small challenges across an organisation. By doing so the organisation itself will become a better place to work for the employees and more adaptable and successful. Note the word ‘and.’ Small wins innovation benefits leaders, teams and the business. As I explore ... Read more

What a bank can teach leaders about innovation

What a bank can teach leaders about innovation
Bank and innovation. Not an association that comes easily to mind. Until now. I have just visited the new Innovation Lab at The Commonwealth Bank in Sydney. I was blown away. Lots of energy, people, inspiring quotes and clever use of technology. The purpose of the Innovation Lab? Here is what the bank’s web site has to say: ‘Our Innovation Lab is a living space where customers and staff come together to explore ideas, test concepts, develop solutions and turn today’s imagination ... Read more

How leaders can improve everyday

How leaders can improve everyday
I play soccer (or football) every sunday. Nothing surprising about this really except that I am in my middle 50’s. After every game I go to a cafe and whilst waiting for my scrambled eggs I reflect on the game. I ask myself: What could I have done differently in these situations? You see, I still want to improve! When I worked in corporate life I did something similar. At the end of the day when I was travelling home I would ask myself, What could I have done differently today? ... Read more