What if your team improved 1%?

I spend a lot of time reading books and articles on leadership, peak performance, and innovation to help my clients reach their strategic goals. In my book Water The Bamboo® I encourage leaders and teams to identify their Bamboo Dream (vision) and to faithfully water it for five years before it grows 90 feet in 60 days. The watering (effort) is essential to success.

Photo by Josh Hallett on Flickr.

Photo by Josh Hallett on Flickr.

Mile by mile it’s a trial; yard by yard it’s hard; but inch by inch it’s a cinch.

A strategy I recently read about is worth applying to your vision. In 2010 Team Sky, Great Britain’s professional cycling team, identified their Bamboo Dream as winning the prestigious Tour de France within five years.

The watering strategy they implemented is quite remarkable: they decided to improve all aspects of cycling by 1% (this is also known as marginal aggregate gains). For instance, they sought to improve their training regimen by 1%, improve their equipment by 1%, they even sought to improve how they washed their hands to prevent illness.
The Bamboo Dream of winning the Tour de France in five years backfired—they won it in three years! In fact, they won it twice within the five year time frame.

What would it be like if you applied the marginal aggregate gains strategy improvement plan to your Bamboo Dream? Here are steps to help apply the strategy to your Bamboo Dream:

  1. Identify your Bamboo Dream.

  2. Get your Bamboo Circle (core team of advisers) or Watering Partner (accountability partner) on board with your Bamboo Dream and applying the marginal aggregate gains strategy. Be exhaustive here, brainstorm all aspects.

  3. Brainstorm potential areas to apply the marginal gains strategy.

  4. Write out your marginal gains plan in detail.

  5. Set a schedule to monitor your progress daily/weekly/monthly.

Measure small improvements; let the results take care of themselves.

How would you apply the strategy to your Bamboo Dream? Please add to the conversation – comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.