Marginal Gains

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“The Sky is the Limit” “Dream Big” - many of us set ourselves such high goals to achieve that it can be overwhelming just thinking about the amount of work and time we need to put in in order to achieve those goals. At work, we can be given huge projects or targets that - on the surface - seem unachievable. 

One such target could be winning Gold at the Olympics…. 


Will it make the Boat go Faster? 

Ben Hunt-Davis was part of an underachieving Men’s Eight who in 1998 set themselves a Crazy Goal of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in just two years' time.

They developed a whole new way of working and began challenging everything they did with the question: “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?” If it did, they would keep doing it, if it didn’t they’d try something different.

By focusing on their performance, their results started improving, giving them the belief that their Crazy Goal may not be so crazy after all.

On the 25th September 2000, Ben and his crew won Gold at the Sydney Olympics. Now their story acts as a reminder that with the right approach people are capable of amazing things.



Implementing “Marginal Gains” 

Below are some points we have put together on how you can introduce “Marginals Gains” to develop your yourself and your teams: 

  • Identify the development areas within your team - You can’t decide what to improve on without first knowing what needs to be improved. Look at your ‘pain points’ in actions, behaviours, routines, processes etc. and if you find yourself asking “Is there a way we could do this easier/better”’re looking in the right place. 

  • Little but Often - Some people like to use the 1% Principle, in layman terms, what could you be doing 1% better today than yesterday for gradual improvement. In some businesses, the difference of a few percent can have a huge impact on revenue and it’s the same with yourself and your team. Set an overall goal and then create small gradual steps towards achieving those goals. This is a good way to monitor your progress as well.

  • Trial different solutions - Constantly look for new ways to solve problems and improve efficiency. If you trial something and it doesn’t work, learn from this failure and use it to start crafting your next solution.

  • Regular Feedback for continued improvement - The individuals most aware of the impact of any changes introduced will be the ones who have to deal with the changes first hand and on a daily basis. Listen to feedback from your team as sometimes changes need to be amended during the process to get things on track.

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