Category Archives: Higher Performance

Small wins is a powerful way to lift performance. It’s actionable, concrete and effective.

What is an effective innovation KPI for leaders?

What is an effective innovation KPI for leaders?
We all know KPI’s are important. In theory they are a guide to what you and your team believe to be important and serve as a form of evaluation (i.e. to what extend did you achieve your KPI’s). One of the problems leaders have wrestled with is what is an appropriate and effective KPI for innovation? If it is for the people responsible for innovation then there are a number of measures. For example: – time to market – sales of products less that 3 years old – ... Read more

How small leadership actions can have a big impact

How small leadership actions can have a big impact
In Australian politics at the moment the current Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott is facing a potential challenge from a number if his rivals. Yet only 1 week ago his position seemed safe and his performance whilst not outstanding was considered adequate. But then he made a decision. A decision in the scheme of things which was quiet small. He decided to offer a knighthood to Prince Philip in the UK. This set off a firestorm of complaints which has led him now fighting for his political life. ... Read more

What do leaders think of small wins innovation?

What do leaders think of small wins innovation?
I gave a half-day workshop yesterday to a future leaders group on small wins innovation. Their reaction was overwhelmingly positive (I know it is self-serving but it was true). The brief from the HR director was to make innovation more accessible and to reinforce the idea that innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, trying to reduce waiting time for a check-out. The problem they face with innovation was two-fold. Firstly they believed that innovation by definition had to be ... Read more

A simple way for leaders to test & learn

A simple way for leaders to test & learn
I recently had a meeting with a leader from a major bank and she told me about their formal test and learn program. The basic outline is as follows: - it involves senior (executive managers) only – every quarter they must conduct a legitimate test and learn project - this is one where they genuinely are trying to learn something new or develop a new solution - the emphasis is on trying new things. A test would not be considered valid if its in the normal course of work. - every ... Read more

What is your 1% goal for the next 30 days?

What is your 1% goal for the next 30 days?
I spent last week working with a leadership team  from a mineral technology company. One of the concepts I introduced them to was the 1% goal. I asked them to think of and commit to a improving something by 1% in the next 30 days using the small wins methodology (i.e. 5 steps). One of the leaders wanted to improve his meetings with his team. Another set her goal as improving her coaching of her team. What they all loved what the idea of a 1% goal. It seems so simple, easy and achievable. I ... Read more

What is a key innovative behaviour?

What is a key innovative behaviour?
Creative thinking and innovation success depends on being able to think in a different way. But it is also about behaving in a different way. And one of the key small wins innovative behaviors is searching for new ideas or solutions. Innovation is not a passive process. It is not about hoping for inspiration to strike. Applied creativity and innovation in a commercial setting has time restrictions. In short — you and your team need to search in new places for new solutions. It could ... Read more

How do leaders select a small wins project?

How do leaders select a small wins project?
I am often asked in my workshops and key note speeches on small wins innovation, How do you select a small wins innovation project? My rule of thumb is this: – It should be a problem, opportunity or issue where you can realistically expect to complete the 5 steps in 30 days or less (i.e. create, test, measure, learn and share). - The project is within your control or influence - The project should engage or motivate the team - There are sufficient resources e.g. time, budget or people ... Read more

How leaders can improve everyday

How leaders can improve everyday
I play soccer (or football) every sunday. Nothing surprising about this really except that I am in my middle 50’s. After every game I go to a cafe and whilst waiting for my scrambled eggs I reflect on the game. I ask myself: What could I have done differently in these situations? You see, I still want to improve! When I worked in corporate life I did something similar. At the end of the day when I was travelling home I would ask myself, What could I have done differently today? ... Read more

The new leadership strategy – ‘less is more’

The new leadership strategy – ‘less is more’
McDonald’s according to a recent Huffington Post blog reported that they have started to rationalise their menu. In the 1950’s, when they started there were 9 items, now there are over 100. This has been one of the reasons that McDonald’s profits have been declining. According to the Mike Andres, McDonald’s U.S. CEO; “This menu rationalization process is clearly ongoing,”. So far, the company’s menu changes has led to improved sales and better throughput — a ... Read more

What is the small wins 30 day team challenge?

What is the small wins 30 day team challenge?
Here is a practical and simple way for any team or group to become more innovative. It’s called the small wins 30 day challenge. Innovation and more importantly innovative thinking is a skill that can be learned. And the best way to do this is by practicing it. It’s learning by doing. Have the group select a challenge —  this is a problem, issue or opportunity (e.g. meetings never start on time). Then agree upon a goal (e.g. start every meeting for the next 30 days within ... Read more