Tag Archives: generating ideas

Want a big idea? start with a small one

Want a big idea? start with a small one
I remember meeting with the CEO of a large international packaged goods brand who spent the entire time imploring his leadership team to come up with a big idea This sounded impressive but when I asked him later in what area he wanted a big idea, he said — it didn’t matter – he just wanted a big idea, any big idea. I also queried how he might recognize a big idea. He answered – we will just know. I have spent a great deal of time in and around marketing departments and ... Read more

How can we make it better?

How can we make it better?
This is a great question for anyone in or working with a team. How can we make it better? The ‘it’ could be an idea, solution, product, process or course of action. I love it because there is a collaborative aspect — ‘we’. And the question suggests a continuous journey rather than a destination i.e. best. It suggests an openness to the possibility that any solution, idea etc could be made better. There is a humility about this question. In my workshops for ... Read more

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 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

A key innovative behavior – bouncing

A key innovative behavior – bouncing
One of the most important innovative behaviours is what I call ‘bouncing.’ It’s when one person has an idea and they bounce it off another person. The concept of bouncing has a long history in creative collaboration. For example: “We’d sit down and say, ‘OK, what are we going to do?’ and we’d just start off strumming and one or the other of us would kick off some kind of idea and then we’d just develop it and bounce off each other.” – Paul McCartney on his ... Read more

Design Thinking vs Small Wins Process

Design Thinking vs Small Wins Process
Design Thinking is a very powerful process. It has been made famous by the Stanford Design School and organisations such as Ideo. According to some writers the Design Thinking Process consists of 5 steps: – Empathise - Define - Ideate - Prototype and  - Test The small wins process also has 5 steps after a challenge has been defined (i.e. a problem, opportunity, issue etc). – Create - Test - Measure - Learn and  - Share As you can see there are many similarities: – both ... Read more

Why every leader should have an ideas buddy

Why every leader should have an ideas buddy
Leadership can be a lonely role. But to create and innovate I believe every leader should seek and maintain someone who they can bounce ideas off (and you can help them as well). Lets call this person an ideas buddy. A person who they trust and can make your idea better. But also five you some critical feedback as well. I was reminded of this dynamic with a recent interview in the New Yorker with Jonathon Ives (by Ian Parker) when he (Ives) was talking about his relation with Steve Jobs. ... 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

When to think big – when to think small

When to think big – when to think small
There are time when you need to think big and other times when it is better to think small. These 2 different types of thinking complement one another. This is similar to Daniel Kahneman’s idea of thinking fast and slow. Here are some examples when you might want to think big: – You are feeling in the flow – Feel inspired – When you do your best thinking (I do mine first things and late at night) – In a planning or strategy session – Trying to create a ... Read more