Marginal vs Exponential


We have an option of two futures, marginal or exponential.

This was brought to mind this week by two things; absolute awe at the determination, discipline and applicati0n of all the athletes in the Olympics, and secondly, an intiative by Jamie Smart, that if you’re a coach, or are are involved in transformation in any domain, is worth checking out

If you know the game you’re in, marginal gains works. Whether it’s compound interest on your account, or mining the data for an insight to gain 1/1000th of a second on your lap time, it works. Where it doesn’t work, is where the answer doesn’t lie in the data.

When the answer doesn’t lie in the data, it will, without doubt, lie in your senses. Learning to trust your senses is a journey, and the path is one of transformation, not linear gains.

Both are vital. People, and organisations that develop fastest sit at the conjunction of the two. Sweating the data, and being open to the insanely possible.

Marginal gain is low risk, but incremental. 1% a week will double your performance in what you do in eighteen months.

Transformation is exponential.  To use an well known parable, if you were to put one grain of rice onto the first square of a 64 square chess board, two on the second, four on the fourth an so on, by the time you get to the 64th square, you have a plie of rice bigger than Everest.

There is room in our lives for both. Being clear, and mindful,  in our choices – whether are we going for safe marginal, or risky exponential, is something we can make choices on.

Every day holds the possibility of two futures.


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