Incremental Leadership Quotes

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ReThink Training: The best process of learning is on the job, just-in-time, "nibble-knowledge" to incrementally transform mindsets and skillsets irrevocably.
Tony Dovale
Leadership reveals itself in the big moments, but is forged in the small. It is the exponential and compounding product of our many incremental behaviors and actions; all of which arise out of our choices in values, beliefs & emotions. Choices all. Not a one is thrust upon us.
Christopher Babson (Breakout Presentations: "WOW!" People in Business and Life)
Stop Being Incremental! If your system no longer delivers the results you want, don’t go for incremental changes, instead go for complete transformation.
Abhishek Ratna (small wins BIG SUCCESS: A handbook for exemplary success in post Covid19 Outbreak Era)
Despite the fact that Murray was one of the preeminent civil rights leaders of the twentieth century, most people have never heard of her. She achieved her leadership role and her success in subverting white supremacy by learning from her failures and capitalizing on the most incremental successes.
Walter Isaacson (Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness)
WHY PARADIGMS MATTER Ideas drive results. People's beliefs drive their actions. Actions that stem from a simple, complete and accurate paradigm result in personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships, and economic prosperity. Actions based on false, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms, however well intended or passionately defended, are the cause of widespread misery, suffering and deprivation. As detailed in Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change, a fatal information deficit explains the worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits. In a dangerous world where psychological and economic warfare compete with religious extremism and terrorism to undo thousands of years of incremental human progress, a healing balance is urgently needed. Restoring a simple, complete and accurate paradigm of leadership and relationships now could make the difference between human survival on the one hand, and the extinction of the human race (or the end of civilization as we know it), on the other. p. 7.
Patricia E. West (The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change)
Imagine the following. Three groups of ten individuals are in a park at lunchtime with a rainstorm threatening. In the first group, someone says: “Get up and follow me.” When he starts walking and only a few others join in, he yells to those still seated: “Up, I said, and now!” In the second group, someone says: “We’re going to have to move. Here’s the plan. Each of us stands up and marches in the direction of the apple tree. Please stay at least two feet away from other group members and do not run. Do not leave any personal belongings on the ground here and be sure to stop at the base of the tree. When we are all there . . .” In the third group, someone tells the others: “It’s going to rain in a few minutes. Why don’t we go over there and sit under that huge apple tree. We’ll stay dry, and we can have fresh apples for lunch.” I am sometimes amazed at how many people try to transform organizations using methods that look like the first two scenarios: authoritarian decree and micromanagement. Both approaches have been applied widely in enterprises over the last century, but mostly for maintaining existing systems, not transforming those systems into something better. When the goal is behavior change, unless the boss is extremely powerful, authoritarian decree often works poorly even in simple situations, like the apple tree case. Increasingly, in complex organizations, this approach doesn’t work at all. Without the power of kings and queens behind it, authoritarianism is unlikely to break through all the forces of resistance. People will ignore you or pretend to cooperate while doing everything possible to undermine your efforts. Micromanagement tries to get around this problem by specifying what employees should do in detail and then monitoring compliance. This tactic can break through some of the barriers to change, but in an increasingly unacceptable amount of time. Because the creation and communication of detailed plans is deadly slow, the change produced this way tends to be highly incremental. Only the approach used in the third scenario above has the potential to break through all the forces that support the status quo and to encourage the kind of dramatic shifts found in successful transformations. (See figure 5–1.) This approach is based on vision—a central component of all great leadership.
John P. Kotter (Leading Change [with a New Preface])
LEADERSHIP | Intuit’s CEO on Building a Design-Driven Company Brad Smith | 222 words Although 46 similar products were on the market when Intuit launched Quicken, in 1983, it immediately became the market leader in personal finance software and has held that position for three decades. That’s because Quicken was so well designed that using it is intuitive. But by the time Smith became CEO, in 2008, the company had become overly focused on adding incremental features that delivered ease of use but not delight. What was missing was an emotional connection with customers. He and his team set out to integrate design thinking into every part of Intuit. They changed the layout of the office, reduced the number of cubes, and added more collaboration spaces and places for impromptu work. They increased the number of designers by nearly 600% and now hold quarterly design conferences. They bring in people who have created exceptionally designed products, such as the Nest thermostat and the Kayak travel website, to share insights with Intuit employees. The company acquired one start-up, called Mint, and collaborates with another, called ZenPayroll, to improve customer experience. Although most people don’t think of financial software as a category driven by emotion or design, Smith writes, Intuit’s D4D (“design for delight”) program has paid off. For example, its SnapTax app, inspired by consumers’ migration to smartphones, led one user to write, “I want this app to have my babies.
The Practising Manager’s Growth Mantra -Growth in an enterprise is created through remarkable achievements, not incremental achievements like efficiency or effectiveness. -Remarkable achievements are possible only in complexity. -Only volitional engagement can work in complexity. Luckily, there is no certainty in complexity. Hence, motivational engagement cannot work. -People who make choices based on the purpose can only be volitionally engaged—they are the growth managers, the leaders.
Amit Chatterjee (Ascent: A Practising Manager’s Growth Mantra)
Behind what is said in the collection presented here is a twofold concern. My first concern is for the individual in society and his or her seeming bent to deal with the massive problems of our times wholly in terms of systems, ideologies, and movements. These have their place, but they are not basic because they do not make themselves. The basics are the incremental thrusts of individuals who have the ability to serve and lead—the prime movers. My second concern is for the individual as a serving person and the tendency to deny wholeness and creative fulfillment to oneself by failing to lead when there is the opportunity.
Robert K. Greenleaf (Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness)
Your teams need the ability—and the manpower—to relentlessly pursue a specific objective; asking a team to split its time between two different business lines is likely to result in the failure of both. This is especially true when the main thread is a business line that has matured. In their Harvard Business Review article “The Ambidextrous Organization,” Charles A. O’Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman draw the distinction between “exploiting” and “exploring.” Mature business lines focus on incremental innovations that help them exploit a well-known market, whereas new threads focus on more radical innovations and exploring a new market opportunity. They examined thirty-five attempts to spin up new threads, across nine different industries. What they found was that these efforts were most likely to be successful in “ambidextrous” organizations, where the new threads were organized as structurally independent units but integrated into the existing management structure. In other words, the leaders of the new threads not only have the freedom to innovate but also the ability to coordinate with senior leadership to leverage existing resources and expertise from more mature threads.
Reid Hoffman (Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies)
Today, the role of a change leader is restricted to the management of incremental changes. What should be the new role of change leaders in an environment which is constantly multiplying its pace of progress?
Sukant Ratnakar (Quantraz)
David S. Young, Chapter: Foresight, the Lead that the Leader Has. Through foresight we help congregations shape an incremental, measurable three-year plan. This is a very artistic process. I use a triangle and have the church members put their vision on the top, the strengths on the lower angle, and the need on the other angle. I put foresight in the center.
Larry C. Spears (Focus on Leadership: Servant-Leadership for the 21st Century)
tolerance for failure—both personally and organizationally—is the primary key to unlocking innovation. Smart, well-meaning managers often make small errors in leadership that discourage this kind of risk-taking. Building an organization that encourages and rewards incremental achievement of big goals increases your chances of successful innovation, and reduces the costs of inevitable missteps. That’s the essence of experimentation.
Jeff Lawson (Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century)
The immediate cause of the Civil War lay in the derangement of the nation’s two political systems—the constitutional system of the 1780s and the party system of the 1830s—and in their interaction with each other. Both these systems rested on an intricate set of balances: the constitutional, on a balance between federal and state power and among the three branches of the federal government; the party, on a competitive balance between party organizations at the national and state levels. The genius of this double system lay in its ability to morselize sectional and economic and other conflicts before they became flammable, and then through incremental adjustment and accommodations to keep the great mobiles of ideological, regional, and other political energies in balance until the next adjustment had to be made. This system worked well for decades, as the great compromises of 1820 and 1850 attested. The system was flexible too; when a measure of executive leadership was needed—to make great decisions about the West, as with Jefferson, or to adjust and overcome a tariff rebellion, as with Jackson—enough presidential authority could be exerted within the system to meet the need. But the essence of the system lay in balances, adjustment, compromise. Then, in the 1850s, this system crumbled. The centrifugal forces besetting it were so powerful that perhaps no polity could have overcome them; yet European and other political systems had encountered enormously divisive forces and survived. What happened in the United States was a fateful combination: a powerful ideology of states’ rights, defense of slavery, and “southern way of life” arose in the South, with South Carolina as the cutting edge; this was met by a counter-ideology in the urbanizing, industrializing, modernizing states, with Illinois as the cutting edge in the West.
James MacGregor Burns (The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, The Workshop of Democracy, and The Crosswinds of Freedom)
Your company is likely to be set up to deliver repeatable certainty. There is a range of well-known products and services, an established business model to protect and a well-understood customer base to serve. That context is perfect for incremental innovation; there are plenty of known cause-and-effect relationships where investment risks are low and tolerance for failure is scant. And so it should be if we're doing a good job in a well-understood context. But try dropping an idea for a brand new proposition into that climate. This fledgling idea kind of makes sense on paper but it uses emerging technology that we don't really understand, serves a category of customer that we're not too familiar with, would require some support capabilities that we don't have, and would be driven by a business model that is hard to predict. That idea, 99 times out of 100, will die fast or drown by death of a thousand watering-down committees. And yet it might have been an important new revenue stream.
Elvin Turner (Be Less Zombie: How Great Companies Create Dynamic Innovation, Fearless Leadership and Passionate People)
Seek out incremental wins. Instead of immediately revolutionizing the company, start small and crush a few things first; once you’ve earned trust, you will garner bigger responsibilities and influence.
Jim Knight (Leadership That Rocks)
The goal of going Agile is to hedge risk by doing incremental-iterative development, increasing overall process efficiency, and the quality of the final output.
Salil Jha
This series of events indicate the most fundamental of all rules in progress, that taking small incremental steps surely determines Success
David Sikhosana (Time Value of Money: Timing Income)