A nice little book (100 pages) by Margaret Heffernan (former CEO of 5 companies) that highlights the big impact of small changes. To me it’s a book about corporate culture and how we can positively influence its development with little shifts.
One shift is to have more conflict.Now this might seem like a big shift to some but it can start small. As a major influence of mine, Patrick Lencione, likes to say on this subject, “What’s worse than conflict is no conflict.”
Do not be afraid to bring up opposing viewpoints on ideas. The workplace needs counterarguments. Some organizations will actually appoint a Devil’s Advocate for a meeting to ensure a different perspective is shared. Think of ways you can incorporate the steady advance of non-personal conflict in to the workplace.
Another idea that Margaret shares is to monotask. I have been a staunch advocate of this idea that we cannot do 2 things at the same time that require intelligence. This article on Forbes.com talks about a Stanford study that also supported the idea. You can expand on this concept and think about how to handle whole days. For example, Asana has days where meetings are not allowed. Guess what? Workplace productivity zooms on those days!
The last idea I will share with you here is to Go Out. Margaret avers that the best ideas come when you are out of the office. Jack Dorsey came up with the idea for Square by talking with a friend, not by having a meeting at work. Many CEOs say they came up with new thoughts on leadership by coaching little league. Expand on this idea by having people get out of their jobs and in to others. At Method they have people swap jobs for a period so they can see how another part of the company works. Now that’s bold. By the way, the company got started because two friends got together and talked about observations until they came up with an idea they could really get behind.