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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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Posted by Michael McKinney wims If you haven’t left a comment here 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. Post a comment If you haven’t left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear.

What are small wins? | Small wins

How to link to this web site. Organizational theorist Karl Weick argues that calling a situation a serious problem requiring a sweeping change, may be when the real problem starts.

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. He writes, “The massive scale on which social problems are conceived often precludes innovative action because the limits of bounded rationality are exceeded People often define social problems in ways that overwhelm their ability to do anything about them.


He defines small wins as a “series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance [that] build a pattern that attracts allies and deters opponents.

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

A small win is a concrete, complete, implemented outcome of moderate importance. By itself, one small win may seem unimportant. A series of wins at small but significant tasks, however, reveals a pattern that may attract allies, deter wekck, and lower resistance to subsequent proposals.

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

What are small wins?

When a solution is put in karp, the next solvable problem often becomes more visible. This occurs because new allies bring new solutions with them and old opponents change their habits.

Additional resources also flow toward winners, which means that slightly larger wins can be attempted. While small wins provide less effort to produce and provide stable building blocks to wina on, they are not orderly because each small win changes the context for the next small win.


Small wins stir up settings, which means that each subsequent attempt at another win occurs in a different context.

Careful plotting of a series of wins to achieve a major change is impossible because conditions do not remain constant. 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. Small wins provide information that facilitates learning and adaptation.

Small wins are like miniature experiments snall test implicit theories about resistance and opportunity and uncover both resources and barriers that were invisible before the situation was stirred up. Bush First Look: Leadership Books for December LeadershipNow November Compilation Leading Matters: Hennessy on the Leadership Journey Farsighted: Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited.

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