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Marginal Gains or Marginal Remains.

Working recently with a leadership team fascinated to implement the 'marginal gains' strategy seen in sport: (finding 1% gains and adding them over time to arrive at a significant gain overall).

The challenge is the Gains are often assumed to be additional practices/equipment requiring more to be added to a Performance System that is often unclear and even cluttered. It looks like progress but it is motion. In my experience I have seen well intentioned attempts at marginal gains complicate good systems and backfire. Why? The Performance System is not crystal clear before hand.

A different approach is Marginal Remains. It is a strategy that brings clarity to the Performance System we are in, assumptions become visible and sustainable opportunities stand out. It is much harder to subtract than to add. The thinking is deeper. And our inbuilt bias is to add, it feels better and looks like something is happening!

Adding conceals, subtracting reveals. What remains will be greater than marginal and they ripple out to greater clarity and sustained performance.


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