What can you expect here?

I am passionate about making a difference to people and organisations- and I guess there are many who would like to do the same. I hope this could be a platform to share views and experiences so that we can all grow together and make a difference.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Little things that make a big difference

Very often, as executives and managers, we are looking for that big strategic decision or initiative- one that will change or 'transform' our business. That's probably a perpetual quest. We get some right, and quite a few wrong- but that 'killer app' of strategy, product launch or brand relaunch eludes most of us. And books get written about the few who have got those big breakthrough decisions, and the rest of us continue in great hope that our big strategic acts are going to be part of management folklore. That sliver of hope drives us in our quest for greatness, and at times brings interesting serendipitous results- and keeps everybody going.

However, in this larger journey to greatness, do we overlook the little things that can make a big difference. When we talk to people, there is usually that one small incident that changed the direction of their lives- be it through an interaction with someone else, a failure, a small piece of advice..... the list could go on. Meeting with many people has made me firmly believe that these small things can make a very big difference, one that most of us underestimate. Each of us has been through small experiences that would have had a big impact, and I would like to document some of those.

To start with, I want to talk about the 'penny drop moment'- through the use of simple, vivid descriptions or analogies- words that change our thinking. In our everyday lives, do we consciously think about how a few words or an analogy can make a  huge difference, and plan and use them. Let me give you a personal example. A few years back, I had some terrible back problems, and every few months would be down with a stiff back. I consulted a physio, an Australian lady who had worked on sports injuries. One day, as I was lying on the pysio's table, she said a few words which stayed with me forever. "Treat your back like a string of pearls", she said. I guess that was when the penny dropped, though I didnt realise it at that moment. I focussed on strenghtening my back, and in those stretches and exercises, I took deep care as I would do to a string of pearls. Just those words made a big difference to my life.

Giving feedback to people is one area where such thoughtful selection of words would make a difference. I am sure you would have come across examples in your life when a simple communication, made a big difference. Do share some examples.

What are the other small things that make a big difference?


  1. Great writing and stimulation Shankar. One moment when "penny" dropped was a small handwritten "FOCUS" on my 12 page note on business scenario prevailing after Gulf war in 1991 by my role model.

    That got me thinking and changed me forever. I still thank that icon.

  2. Great post by you......it helps a lot to me..

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