Little things make a big difference

If you thought that little things don’t make a BIG difference, try sleeping with a mosquito!

Very often we feel that we need to take massive action in order to achieve something significant in a short time.

The results can be highly visible and provide high impact, – very often for only a short time.

What is likely to make a sustainable difference to you and your business is to make small changes over a period of time which are embedded in yours and your business’s DNA.

There are numerous examples of how small changes make a massive, long term difference across many sectors from sport to business, and beyond.

In the world of sport, a collaboration between pharmaceutical giant GSK and racing car manufacturer McClaren focussed on small changes, such as the development by GSK of a hydration drink for Jenson Button who was driving for McLaren.  This drink is an example of the ‘marginal gains’ that helped both companies achieve the highest level of performance in their respective fields.  “We have a continuous improvement approach which we learnt from the McLaren team,” said Mr Connor of McLaren.  “It made us set really small incremental goals – the equivalent of fine tuning the car for ultimate performance.”

Matthew Syed in his book Black Box Thinking, talks about small changes that have made big differences in medicine, aviation and sport, such as changing the shape of two levers in the cockpit of a B-17 plane resulting in a particular and regular type of air accident disappearing overnight!

Stuart Diamond in his book Getting More devotes a whole section to what he calls ‘being incremental’ during negotiations.  He suggests that “Asking the other person to make a big jump makes it easy for the other person to say no” so, “Divide the negotiation into smaller steps, getting anchoring and buy-in at each step”.

So, what does this mean to Your business?

It might be about looking at how you currently market your business and tweaking either your message or the media you are using.

There might be a business process that would benefit you and your customers just by make one or two small changes.

Have a look at the approaches other people are taking that seem to have made a positive difference to their business and take a similar approach.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, revolution can, and does work on some occasions. What has been proven to make a long term significant difference is evolution –  a bit at a time.

Let us know some of the Little Things that have, or will make a big difference in your organisation.

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