I’m starting this week with one of my favourite quotes. It’s about the power of tiny shifts having a massive impact. Let me share an example from the book, Nudge.
A leading high street chain of pharmacists set themselves the challenge of growing the average spend per basket. In other words, how much each shopper spent on average.
They started with a fact find: what actually happens at the moment. They ran the data, they watched, they observed, they looked for key trends and patterns. They were after insight.
They key thing that emerged was that when shoppers entered they generally didn’t pick up a shopping basket. Presumably because they didn’t think they needed a basket and wouldn’t spend that much.
What they observed was that people ended up carrying their purchases in their arms and got to a natural limit where they couldn’t carry any more ... and hence couldn’t spend any more.
Since the shopping baskets were at the store entrance it wasn’t particularly convenient or easy to go back and get a basket.
Armed with this information, the answer became very self-evident. They placed the baskets in the centre of the store as well as at the entrance.
The outcome: the average basket size rose.
A seemingly small shift in something as simple as where to place shopping baskets had a disproportionate impact on revenue growth. Small hinges really do swing big doors.
Every single business has the opportunity to do this. We all have data – it just needs to be held under the right light to see the patterns and stories.
Alongside my keynote speaking, I’m working with a number of businesses and charities to drive growth and competitive advantage. One of the key questions I bring to each table is to ask the question around data and how that can support different ideas.
I encourage everyone to think about continuous improvements and how things can be made better. It all starts with a gut feeling, a hunch around something you think might be true. Then you look to what data you have and how you can quickly and effectively test that hypothesis. Test quickly and if it works do more to it. If it doesn't do less of it. It’s a series on ongoing experiments.
It's exactly the same with sailing oceans. When you are at sea with thousands of miles to sail, small tweaks can have a disproprtionately large impact. You are continually studying the data - the wind angles, the wind strengths, the sail plan and the sail trim. It's an ongoing series of experiments 24 hours a day looking for the best performance.
My thought to share... work out where you want to get to, study the data carefully and look for the shifts that you can make that can have a big impact. Small shifts can truly have a big impact. Develop a mindset of being a scientist and run lots of experiments.