The Marginal Gains Approach to Improving Productivity

By John Waldron

I’m pretty sure that you’ll agree that achieving a mere 1% improvement in any given metric is not something that’s worth getting too excited about. Indeed, striving for such a minute enhancement in the first place might, quite understandably, leave you wondering – why bother at all?

For surely the more sensible, ambitious and lucrative approach would be to set your sights higher – 5% at the very least, right? But even that’s got nothing on improvements weighing in at 10% or even 20%! Now you’re talking.

And of course your logic would be sound, for obvious reasons.

However, imagine the overall impact if you were able to find ways and means to improve every single metric by just 1%. If you find 50 metrics to improve in this manner, then you quickly realise that the aggregate result will be far greater than the sum of its parts.

The marginal gains philosophy

This is what’s known as the marginal gains philosophy, and it has gathered an increasing amount of attention over recent years in response to the successes that one high-profile proponent of the theory managed to achieve.

Have you heard of Sir Setting Goals: A Blessing Or A Threat To Your Productivity?

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