Little Wins: The Huge Power Of Thinking Like A Toddler
by Paul Lindley
Published by Penguin Books, £9.99
(Buy at Amazon)
Over the last decade there has been a big move towards a more analytical, impersonal approach to management. Indeed, the rise of “big data” is based around the idea that hard numbers are superior to feelings, instinct and creativity. Paul Lindley, the founder of the Ella’s Kitchen range of baby food, disagrees with this, and in Little Wins he advocates almost the complete opposite approach. Based on his own experience, he argues that successful entrepreneurs must unleash their inner child, and learn to be more experimental, social and playful.
This may seem counterintuitive, but Lindley cites research showing that young children are better than adults at certain tasks. This includes making basic decisions, something many entrepreneurs struggle with. Toddlers are also superior at lateral thinking, which can be useful when trying to reinvent a process or industry from scratch.
They also show enthusiasm more readily, something that can be extremely useful when trying to persuade an investor to provide funding, or a supplier to stock your product. While an adult approach is often more appropriate, there are still things that even the most experienced entrepreneur can learn or re-learn.
At just over 200 pages, this clearly isn’t intended to be a comprehensive guide to entrepreneurship. With illustrations scattered throughout, and exhortations to “commit over the next month to striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know”, some people may find it too cutesy to take seriously. However, this is the sort of book that you can skim through in an afternoon and pick up some useful ideas in the process.