Table of Contents

Business means growth, and growth is measured by increased profits and market share. Each company aims to achieve growth, and it achieves this through increased sales or cost reductions. In either case, the goal is to increase profits.

And this, at the deepest levels of abstraction, can be attributed to two scenarios.

The first scenario depends on Pareto.

Their firm belief is that only 20% of causes influence 80% of profitability. These causes could be on any dimension – people, process, technology, risk management et al.

The second depends on Kaizen. It states that each business process improves by breaking it down into tiny atoms. Kaizen’s root philosophy revolves around ‘marginal gains’. It is a construct that proves a 1% improvement in any process, everyday, and yields a 37X improvement after a year.

Formula One (F1) is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater. And the F1 teams swear by marginal gains, so do cycling teams. There is a place for it in retail branding. And while we are at it, manufacturing design is a natural candidate.

So, why aren’t more teams rooting for marginal gains?

Despite business data changing quarterly, why are the teams striving for moonshot jumps?

Today’s aim at the moonshot will end in a decaying mass of slides. It has outdated information, and unlucky participants. These participants ignored the true elements of their job. They focused on the destination that changed midway.

Has there ever been a more rewarding approach to growth, other than by ‘doing the job’ and ‘improving on the go’?


If you are responsible for helping your people grow, consider marginal gains.

Break down your process into parts. Coach on the details of each part. Some details would be easy to understand, others won’t. But the key is to help them master one aspect at a time.

Help them apply the details at work. Help their managers visualize the change from the day they started. Help them take a step back after 15 days or a month, and show them the combination in action. 

Continuous growth builds future-proof foundations. Most learning programs are nothing but marginal gains. 

RapL is the marginal gain platform used by learning teams at Toyota, Shell, Casio, HUFT, Koko Black, etc. Get in touch with us, and we will help you develop your microlearning agenda.

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