Author Archives: Dr Ken Hudson

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

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

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