Tag Archives: Higher performance

Six ways leaders can reduce the risks of innovation

Six ways leaders can reduce the risks of innovation
Innovation involves trial and error, risks and failure. We all know this. But there is a problem. Most leaders and managers don’t enjoy the emotion of this. Who would? Why take a risk they  feel when the returns are uncertain? So lets deal with the emotions of this because innovation is vital. So here are a few suggestions to address how leaders feel about risk: 1. Start small. The entire basis of small wins innovation is getting more leaders to innovate, more often by going small. ... Read more

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

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

How do leaders select a small wins project?

How do leaders select a small wins project?
One of the questions I often get asked by leaders is: Where do I start with small wins innovation? Here is one suggestion. Create a 2 by 2 matrix. List say 4 to 8 small projects that you might like to get done in the next 30 days. Divide these into small effort (by the team) or large effort. Then do it again but this time use the criterion — potential impact. Ideally you will have at least 1 project which requires small effort yet can generate a big impact. Start here. You and your ... Read more

How a small leadership action can have a big impact

How a small leadership action can have a big impact
I recently came across an interview in the CIO magazine with Shawn Achor, a former Harvard psychology professor on the merits of Emotional Intelligence. One of his suggestions of how leaders could apply this on a practical level really caught my eye. He suggests the leaders write one positive e-mail each morning for 21 days when they opened their inboxes, praising or thanking someone for good work.  According to Achor,  “It’s just a two sentence e-mail. You can increase social ... Read more

A small program to get rid of the dumb things we do

A small program to get rid of the dumb things we do
An organisation that I do some consulting work for have introduced a program called The Dumb Things We Do. The aim of the program is to highlight then stop the many dumb things that managers and leaders all do (or are asked to do) in an organisation. It is not aimed at any person, group or function but to simply reduce the number of dumb actions or activities. It could be for example, printing off a 60 page report when sending a person a digital file might be more than enough. I love the ... 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

How a small wins goal can have a big impact

How a small wins goal can have a big impact
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a small wins goal of reading 2 books every month. It’s a small, tangible, realistic goal. His first book is Moises Naim’s “The End of Power”. This was at No. 44,369 on Amazon’s list of best-selling books — now it has entered the top 10 as a direct result of Zuckerberg’s endorsement. This begs the question. Who might endorse your product or service? And why? It does not have to be someone famous. What ... Read more