Theory of Marginal Gains:1% percent improvement for success.

Hey guys, For a long time the professional British Cycling team(also known as team sky) was regarded as one of the worst teams in the world. In its entire 76 years history,  they were able to win only a single Gold medal in Olympics. They had no improvement.

Most popular bike manufacturing companies refused to let them ride their bikes. They thought people would associate Team Sky with their bikes.

To improve this situation in 2002 they hired Sir Dave Brailsford as the manager. Brailsford had an interesting background. He is a former professional cycler who holds an MBA. Seeing the bad situation of team sky, he decided to use a business concept called “The Theory of Marginal Gains”.       

The theory says, If you improve every aspect of your business by the slightest one percent, There would be a tremendous amount of improvement in the whole business.

He improved everything by 1%. He improved even those things which none was thinking about. Here is a good visualization I got from google.

courtesy: globalgritinstitute.com

Look at the image. It seems stupid right. They made hundreds of little changes just like these random things that no other team was even paying attention to.

Did it really work? the answer is obvious, it did. They went from one gold medal in 76 years to seven gold medals out of ten gold in track cycling on just The 2008 Beijing Olympics. They repeated this achievement by winning seven gold again in The 2012 London Olympics. Now they’re one of the best in the world.

Now you might say, I don’t think 1% improvement brought this success?

For those with this question, let’s do the math,

Improving by 1% every day for one year: (1.01) 365 = 37.78 % Improvment

Just think, if you improve by 1% per day for a year. You end up 37 times better.  It’s like the Compound Effect you know. If you’re still not convinced think about the sea. A sea is made of just drops of water.

So this is it for today guys, catch you guys up in the next one. Till then stay safe. Peace.

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