Category Archives: Teams

Examples of small wins that can enhance the skills, mindset, productivity & performance of groups and teams

A case study in the power of the 1 percent change

A case study in the power of the 1 percent change
John Longmire is the current coach of the Sydney Swans. The Swans are one of the best teams of a unique game called Australian Rules football. After they won the competition he gave a speech where he reflected on why the Swans became premiers. Here are his key points: 1. Its a continuous journey. I quote. It’s crucial to raise the bar every year and even raise it from week to week. 2. The way to do this is via the ‘one percenters’ The “one percenters’’ are the actions that ... Read more

How to think and work smarter

How to think and work smarter
We have all been told to work smarter not harder. But how do you actually do this? I suspect the starting point is to step back and ask yourself and/or your team a number of questions. The first one is: What is a smarter way to do this? Then work your way through a number of ‘how to’ type questions: Could we for example: – Stop this activity all together? - Can we delegate it? - Have we asked the users (recently) if they still want it? - Can we use technology to help us ... Read more

How you can achieve big goals

How you can achieve big goals
We all have big goals. Our group and team also have collective big goals. For example — it could be to reach a certain stage on our career by a certain age or to earn a certain income or develop a better work – life balance. Or it could be to lose weight or run an event on a certain date. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. We sometimes also have big ideas and maybe were guided by an even bigger vision. But the challenge is to make these a reality. One way is to break down ... 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

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

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