After the Olympics we have heard a great deal about marginal gains and how small developments, innovations and new practices combine to bridge the gap between good and great.
A term that I have heard from time to time, referenced in this article is Little c Creativity which is sort of the same thing and maybe a little more relevant to those of us working to tighter budgets with a cautious eye on the P&L.
Essentially we are talking about looking for ways to make our systems, processes, working practices, communications etc. a little better. Imagine if you had a workforce that were always coming up with simple ways to make things better! what a great place that would be to work. An MD I used to work with described this as developing a team of problem solvers which again is such a clear way of thinking about it.
So as leaders how do we make it happen? firstly as this article suggests maybe rather than making it happen leaders need to let it happen. 'Set out the stalls', open up the lines of communication, help managers to support rather than control and really focus on the little c.
With constraints, things unfold quite differently. We dedicate our mental energy to acting more resourcefully. If you ask someone to design or build a product, you might get a handful of good ideas. But if you ask someone to design or build it while sticking within a tight budget, chances are you’ll get much better results