You can achieve great success in almost anything, especially your career, in one of two ways:: major breakthroughs or incrementally.

Think of major breakthroughs, that is, innovative breakthroughs, as a mighty, gigantic leap of change. Those gigantic leaps of change are nearly impossible for the mere mortal to achieve in a lifetime. So they appear rarely. Productive leaps of change are difficult to discover and even more difficult to execute. There are lots of wonderful ideas, but few are ever possible to implement. Don’t wait around wishing for a magical innovation to right your world at work. At the other end of the hard-easy spectrum is the notion of taking baby steps of change which are within your power to implement.

Knowledge workers often ignore the power and effectiveness of accumulating hundreds or thousands of baby steps. When bundled, over time, hundreds or even thousands of baby steps can rival the results of an innovative breakthrough.

Baby steps, otherwise regarded as making an incremental change,  can indeed be impressive if done repeatedly, persistently and consistently over a long period of time, even every day of your career, from now on.

Visualize adding one brick at a time when constructing a large brick wall to a home or to monumental structures such as the Empire State Building. Most people look at the Empire State Building and merely see one large structure. I see the magic that resulted OVER TIME from incremental changes. I look at a building and enjoy the magical inspiration from knowing that workers persistently placed only one nail at a time, one rivet, one piece of lumber, one piece of steel, and especially only one brick at a time. A persistent and consistent process that resulted in a powerful-looking, aesthetically-pleasing edifice of functionality that lasted decades and will stand for centuries to come. ONE BRICK AT A TIME.

In nature, water can wear through even the toughest rock, one drop at a time.

You can achieve wonderful results with your career, or with your problems, or with your output, by making baby-step changes rather than waiting for a magical, transformative, innovative breakthrough.

Find one baby-step change that you can make right away. Something ever-so-slight. Something that will improve YOURSELF or your ability to work better on the job. Just a tiny change that is easy, comfortable, within your power to do, and that almost no one else will notice. Do this EACH DAY. Though it can be something small, it has to be relevant to your personal goals, your alignment to your work environment, your company’s goals, or anything else that helps you or the company.

Examples of baby-step changes:

  • reorganize your work space to permit faster work processing.
  • start learning a new coding technique if you are a programmer/coder.
  • meet with one of your stakeholders to determine how your output can be better integrated into his or her incoming work flow.

Your baby-step change each day doesn’t have to be a big deal. But it must be some sort of positive change that moves you closer to your corporate and career goals. And you ought to be sufficiently disciplined to strive to achieve one positive change each day.

BIG CHANGE FROM SMALL STEPS: One brick, a monument; one step, cross a continent; one grain of sand, a beach.

A small, daily, positive change can transform a major corporation as powerfully as a single, major innovation.