Small Changes with Big Consequences

In teaching positive leadership, my colleague Kim Cameron points out that we can make small, “1% changes” and get big results.  My son Shawn, provides an illustration.  He tells of an executive who put the names of each of her team members on a wall.  After a week she wrote some specific positive feedback for each person on a sticky note and put it by the person’s name. The next day she wrote, would anyone else like to share something with their colleagues?

Soon the wall began to fill up with gratitude notes.  Not only did the receiver feel good but the giver also felt better.  This practice continues and the executive describes the positive energy and connection she has noticed.  Because of the specific nature of the gratitude notes, people are learning from each other, they are being noticed, and they are focusing on what others are doing right.  This learning from excellence has affected the culture and there is a new feeling on the team.  A very small change has resulted in a very big change.



  • How much time and energy did it take to do what the woman did?
  • Why did the small change have big impact?
  • What small, positive change could you make?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

Leave a Reply