The Majority Gains Before The Marginal Gains Approach

Many people now focus on the importance of making marginal gains to improve performance. Here is one definition of this approach.

The principle of marginal gains is that small incremental improvements in any process amount to a significant improvement when they are all added together.

This approach can help people, teams and companies to have a competitive edge, but it is important to see this in context. One of the key rules in any activity is that:

Great performers focus on getting the majority gains before then adding the marginal gains.

Such people start by doing what works in their chosen field. This takes them to 8+/10. They then add the marginal gains to get to 10/10. Let’s look at some examples.

Great workers may aim to build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and do their best to deliver success. This provides the basis for doing superb work.

Great teams may aim to implement the right strategy with the right people in the right way. They then manage by outcomes on the way to helping their people to deliver the right results.

Great organisations may aim to encourage their people to focus on the organisation’s purpose and follow its principles. They then enable their people to do their best to achieve the picture of success.

Great workers aim to do what they believe in. They keep doing the basics and, when appropriate, add the brilliance. They then sometimes reach their goal by adding that touch of class.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a specific activity where you want to follow some elements of majority and marginal gains approach?

What works in your chosen activity? What can you do to make the majority gains? How can you keep doing these things? How can you get to 8+/10? What can you do to add the marginal gains? How can you then do your best to get to 10/10?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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