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The concept of small wins was first coined by Organizational theorist Karl Weick. He made the point that many social problems seem so big (e.g. world hunger). Record – Download Citation on ResearchGate | Small wins: Redefining the As Karl Weick () has noted, some social problems are so big that. Small Wins. Redefining the Scale of Social Issues. Authors; Authors and affiliations. Karl Weick. Karl Weick. 1. e of Business Administration University of.

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Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.

Redefining the Scale of Social ProblemsWeick explains that small wins help to create an environment where change is not overwhelming and therefore more likely to happen. Bush First Look: People often define social problems in ways that overwhelm their ability to do anything about them.

When a solution is put in place, the next solvable problem often becomes more visible. By itself, one small win may seem unimportant. Small wins are like miniature experiments that test implicit theories about resistance and opportunity and uncover both resources and barriers that were invisible before the situation was stirred up.


Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: The Nature of Small Wins

November Compilation Leading Matters: He defines small wins as a “series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance [that] build a pattern that attracts allies and deters opponents. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited. Organizational theorist Karl Weick argues that calling a situation a serious problem requiring a sweeping change, may be when the real problem starts.

Small wins provide information that facilitates learning and adaptation. Leadership Books for December LeadershipNow Leadership Now is a trademark of M2 Communications.

What are small wins?

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Small wins stir up settings, which means that each subsequent attempt at another win occurs in a different context. Posted by Michael McKinney at A small win is a concrete, complete, implemented outcome of moderate importance. Additional resources also flow toward winners, which means that slightly larger wins can be attempted. Much of the artfulness in working with small wins lies in identifying, gathering, and labeling several small changes that are present but unnoticed, changes that in actuality could be gathered under a variety of labels.


A series of wins at small but significant tasks, however, reveals a pattern that may attract allies, deter opponents, and lower resistance to subsequent proposals. Careful plotting of a series of wins to achieve a major change is impossible because conditions do not remain constant.

Hennessy on the Leadership Journey Farsighted: He writes, “The massive scale on which social problems are conceived often precludes innovative action because the limits of bounded rationality are exceeded Post a comment If kkarl haven’t left a comment smsll before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear.

Until then, it won’t appear on the entry. The Nature of Small Wins. While small wins provide less effort to produce and provide stable building blocks to build on, they are not orderly because each small win changes the context for the next small win.

This occurs because new allies bring new solutions with them and old opponents change their habits.