Tag Archives: Productivity

The key to innovation – small steps

The key to innovation – small steps
We like to think of creativity and innovation as a breakthrough moment made by a special individual with amazing gifts. This may be true with artistic creativity. But in the world of organisations and business the truth is somewhat different. For a start, increasingly innovation is a team game. A new product is rarely the result of a lone individual working in a corner. More often it is the result of a team of diverse individuals that have harnessed their talents in pursuit of a collective ... Read more

Managers are running out of excuses not to innovate

Managers are running out of excuses not to innovate
Managers and leaders know innovation is vital. But they often don’t practice it. It reminds me of exercise. We know it is important yet we never seem to get around to it. We always want to start next week! It seems it’s the same with innovation. – Too tired – Too busy – Not enough people – Not enough time – It’s too big I will start next week! But next week rarely comes around. I think the best time to start to innovate is right now. Select ... Read more

The disruption alternative

The disruption alternative
Disruption is important. It is a powerful force to overturn monopolies and tired, out-dated brands and industries. Disruptive business models can also provide a huge benefit to consumers and customers like Uber for example. But following a disruption strategy if you are a manager or leader in a medium to large size organisations is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it can renew and revitalise an existing business. But it is also expensive, risky and time-consuming. There is another ... Read more

When is the best time to innovate?

When is the best time to innovate?
Now! Not tomorrow or next week. The best time to innovate is right now. It does not matter where or when or on what activity. Too many leaders I speak to say that innovation is important (one of their top 3 priorities according to research) but then say they are really busy and will get to it next week. But next week never comes. Start Now. Start small. Just start! Starting creates action, confidence & momentum. Before you know it you are innovating. Read more

How to become an awesome leader

How to become an awesome leader
I think we need a new language to talk about leadership. One that talks to all current and future leaders. Here is my suggestion. Lets try and develop awesome leaders! Here’s how to do this by using the word AWESOME: Achieve results. There are many leadership models which stress various competencies and attributes but sometimes they forget that leadership is primarily about achieving results through and with people. Results count. And so does how the outcomes are achieved but there ... Read more

The Small Wins Way vs Business Improvement

The Small Wins Way vs Business Improvement
I was just asked by a leader of a large financial organisation: How does The Small Wins way compare to Business Improvement? This is what I said (although in fewer words): How the 2 approaches are similar: Both: - Adopt a continuous journey mindset - Have a formal, semi-structuredprocess¬† - Are important to an organisation’s ability to adapt, change and grow - Value measurement and learning But there are important differences: The Small Wins Way is: - Aimed at developing a higher ... Read more

How to make a small difference – everyday

How to make a small difference – everyday
I recently gave a presentation to a MBA class on the Small Wins Way approach to innovation, change and leadership. I started the conversation by asking them: Could they recall a small change in their life that led to a big difference? Here are some of their reflections: - I started having breakfast each day which that I had more energy throughout the day and I stopped snacking. - I now don’t look at my email for the first hour of my working day. This means that I can do my best ... Read more

How to brainstorm big, new ideas in minutes

How to brainstorm big, new ideas in minutes
I had an insight a few years ago when I was working with managers and leaders. During their planning away-days I noticed that when they were working in a group and had one hour to address a challenge, nothing much happened until I opened the door of their room and said – 10 minutes to go. Then there was a flurry of activity, ideas and energy. In next to no time the group often generated some amazing ideas. I wondered. How much time did an individual or group really needed to start ... Read more

How one word can change a conversation

How one word can change a conversation
I ran a workshop recently with a group of leaders around innovation. One of my key points was that there are two types of innovation in an organisation. The formal e.g. new product development stage gate process And The informal. These are the spontaneous interactions around the coffee pot for example. The problem is that most leaders overemphasise the former and underemphasise the latter. The reason is this. You can never predict when an idea will emerge. Or who will come up with the ... Read more

Is the time right now for leaderful teams?

Is the time right now for leaderful teams?
I was working at a large media organisation this week and one of the corporate leaders mentioned their plans to move people around and also have younger people buddy up with older managers. This was to share and deepen the organisations collective understanding of technology and social media. I know this is a good idea because I often lean on my teenage daughter for help in these areas. Although I do notice she has a short attention span and becomes increasingly frustrated with my lack of ... Read more