Category Archives: Product

Examples of how small wins can be applied to product innovation.

How the simple checklist can make a big difference

How the simple checklist can make a big difference
I had to have a blood test recently and on the wall was a checklist for the nurse. It outlined in a step by step way what the health practitioner should and should not do. As a patient I also liked seeing the checklist because I knew what to expect. It was a win – win. It was a form of quality control and productivity check all rolled into one. Who have have thought the simple checklist could prove so invaluable for process type work. A checklist is a powerful example of a small ... Read more

What is a small wins mindset?

What is a small wins mindset?
We all like the big idea or a bold dramatic action. Or the big decision or speech. These are often amazing to experience. But they are infrequent and often limited to a few leaders. There is another path to long-term, systematic and sustainable success. It’s called small wins. But it needs a shift in mindset. Fortunately a small wins mindset can be learned and developed. A small wins mindset believes: – It is better to make a start than continue to plan or over-think. In short ... Read more

Is disruptive innovation the only game in town?

Is disruptive innovation the only game in town?
I was recently invited to attend a conference on creativity and innovation. I applaud the people behind this conference because we need more not less innovation. But the opening spiel troubled me. I quote from their web site: Innovate or die? Disrupt yourself or pay the price! The challenge of this century is to transform our organisations to adapt flexibly and rapidly to the ever-­changing and volatile environments we face. Giant disruption always heralds huge opportunities. To be sure, ... Read more

How a small change in my business card made a big difference

How a small change in my business card made a big difference
I still have business cards. I know some people have moved on but I still find them useful and in some cultures (e.g. China) essential. A few years ago I changed my title on my card. I became a CIO. Chief Idea Officer. It is amazing to me how many people comment on my title. It stops people and engages them. It even brings a smile to their face. It’s a small change that has a big impact. The new title implies new, different, originality and a slight dose of fun and irreverence. All ... Read more

Why Apple wins – it’s the small things

Why Apple wins – it’s the small things
I read with great interest an interview with chief Apple Designer  Jonathon Ive his obsession with the smallest details of all the Apple products. This interview was in a recent edition of the New Yorker . I quote from the interview (by Ian Parker). ‘For example, the rounded corners and edges that have long helped distinguish an Apple product from a ThinkPad or a book. Ivy spoke of the opportunities that now exist, if the material permits, to take a more elegant path from one line to ... Read more

What is the small wins way?

What is the small wins way?
When managers, leaders and business owners ask me about small wins they often start with: Can small wins be applied to …………….(fill in the blank). It could be innovation, leadership, change, productivity, engagement etc. The answer? Yes it can. I believe there is a small wins way. It’s a way of thinking and behaving. It’s a way of creating and innovating. It’s a way of improving, changing and growing. It’s a way of starting and ... Read more

Have you had a few little breakthroughs today?

Have you had a few little breakthroughs today?
I love the idea of little breakthroughs. For too long we have all been seduced by the idea that a breakthrough has to be big, game-changing or disruptive. But perhaps there are also smaller, everyday varieties. I came across the expression little breakthroughs from author, Daniel Coyle who is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent,Lance Armstrong’s War, and The Secret Race and Hardball: A Season in the Projects. I quote from a recent blog ... Read more

How small wins can build an innovative culture

How small wins can build an innovative culture
One of the big advantages of adopting a small wins approach is the impact on culture. I have argued that the best way to get leaders and their teams to become more innovative is to encourage them to regularly tackle an innovative project. And this project should be small, something they care about and have the resources to implement. By doing a small wins innovation project you not only achieve a result but you have  a greater appreciation of the process itself. You become more open to new ... 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

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