The practice of the philosophy of marginal gains can have a profound impact on whatever it is you are managing or trying to achieve. The ask of a 1% improvement of most anything from someone is not a big ask. And most people will always respond to the request with a “yes, I think I can do that”. Once put into practice one can see how the culmination of that small improvement overtime can trend and add up (see image below).

However, while marginal gains can play a large part in leading and winning a process, team, etc., its may best play part as one part of a set of core principles. Let us not forget the broader picture and all the aspects of that picture that are necessary to consider in order to achieve a goal. Things such as the core vision, mission, and values as well as things like strategy, people vs process aspects and so on are also parts of the bigger picture.

Understanding the relationship and fit between your core vision, mission, and values first and foremost is absolutely key. Once that is identified and understood try incorporating the idea of tiny little gains, keeping in mind that small increases are almost always achievable and the culmination of many tiny gains over time create a bigger win.


What can you improve right now by 1%? What can you ask your team to improve by 1%, right now? I’m sure you’ve already thought of something that you are capable of making that slight improvement in, as well as confident in your ability to make that happen.