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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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CULTURE

MAKE SMALL IMPROVEMENTS

Jonathan Gifford

LEADERS WHO RELY on remarkable and spectacular successes as the route towards their goal are likely to be disappointed.

Steady, incremental improvements are more achievable and more reliable.

The idea

Reuben Mark, former chairman and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive, led his company for a remarkably long period, serving 23 years as CEO and 22 years as chairman. He suggests that any company’s progress should be targetted at small, incremental gains.

Using the analogy of the game of baseball, he argues that leaders should not rely on a spectacular but unlikely succession of dramatic successes—“home runs”; ...

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