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Friday, February 9, 2018

Lean Quote: The Power of Small Wins

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Hundreds or even thousands of little actions added up to some astounding results." — Jim Lancaster, The Work of Management

In 2011 Steven J. Kramer and Teresa Amabile wrote an illuminating piece for the Harvard Business School revealing the number one predictor for worker satisfaction. When over 12,000 worker entries were pored over, they found that employee motivation and engagement was based on whether they had achieved something worthwhile that day.

The efforts of tracking small achievements every day enhanced the workers motivation. Amabile explains that the practice of recording our progress helps us appreciate our small wins which in turn boosts our sense of confidence. We can then leverage that competence toward future, larger successes.

Small wins make habit-building a lot easier. Adjusting old habits and creating new ones is tough. Really tough. And they require a long amount of time in order to create automatically. But when you are starting small, with little, digestible steps it becomes a whole lot easier to bang out a whole bunch of days where you execute your mini-habit.

Small wins help you feel like you're accomplishing something.  If we focus too much on the bigger goals, we’ll feel like we will never get there.  That’s why smaller wins are so important.  They give us motivation to keep on going where it snowballs into the development of the bigger goals.

So, as a people manager make it a habit to help your employees experience small wins over the work day. You will see how powerful those small wins can be!

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