Tag Archives: Higher performance

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

Have you had a small win today?

Have you had a small win today?
My wife who is a journalist came rushing down yesterday to tell me that someone who was an expert in their field had agreed to appear in a segment she was putting together. She had a small win. And according to research by Teresa Amabile having a small win or making progress each day is perhaps the best way to engage and motivate knowledge workers. So here is a big idea. Why not capture and reflect on your small wins each day. Perhaps name it the small wins achievement journal. In a similar ... Read more

How much time should leaders spend thinking?

How much time should leaders spend thinking?
Leaders are always telling me that they are so busy that they have no time to think. This comment has always amazed me because you would imagine thinking is part of the role of any leader. If they are not thinking well — who is? This is particularly important given that most work is knowledge based. Perhaps we need to start setting a thinking goal for every leader? What about this to start the ball rolling? 1% Yes — Leaders dedicate 1% of their time (they are awake) to thinking ... Read more

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?
Feedback! This was beautifully illustrated to me with my daughter at her school recently. She is entering her critical final years at a private school (lucky for her). The principal highlighted to the parents that the school had built a powerful feedback system for all their final year students. She gave the example of a student obtaining say a mark of 10 out of 15 for an essay at the beginning of term. The teachers then kick into action and give some practical, specific and actionable ... 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

How a 1% change can make a real difference

How a 1% change can make a real difference
One of my starting points for small wins is to ask managers and leaders to commit to a 1% improvement goal in the next 30 days. It does not matter what the goal is — the aim  is just to encourage leaders to start innovating. The goal is to make a small difference then see the benefits and repeat. Before you know it you (and your team) have created a new positive habit. The mechanism is small wins. One such company that does this on a systematic basis is Atlassian - a software company ... Read more

How small wins can help you achieve a bigger goal.

How small wins can help you achieve a bigger goal.
Our youngest daughter (not her in the picture) is about to obtain her learners car license. It will take her a minimum of 12 months and 120 hours of driving to achieve a provisional license (which has to be recorded in a log book). So the big goal is to obtain her license in 1 year’s time — the first time. It’s a big and important goal for her. But the only way she can get there is through a series of small wins. In no particular order she must learn how to: – Start ... Read more

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