Team GB‘s cycling team is now perhaps synonomous with the Aggregation of Marginal Gains made famous by Dave Brailsford. He says, “It means taking the 1% from everything you do; finding a 1% margin for improvement in everything you do. That’s what we try to do from the mechanics upwards.” Small things like athletes taking their own pillow around the world with them to reduce infections and to ensure a good night’s sleep and washing hands more thoroughly to ensure germs are not transferred more readily. I began thinking….sometimes a rather dangerous pursuit. This combined with my current read “The art of being brilliant” by Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker led me to think how I could apply some of these psychological approaches to my role as a team leader and teacher.
As Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker say, life is full of busyness (that’s how they spelt it) and to be more effective in our roles we have to harness being happy (apparently only 2% of the population are happy at any one time) and seek to eliminate or reduce the ‘mood hooovers’ in life who are on a perpetual cycle of negativity that sucks any positivity that is present. I suspect we are all at one time or another a ‘mood hoover’, but strive to be happy. Equipped with the 2 Andy’s and Team GB’s principles, I decided to ask my team to compile a list of small things that were either time consuming, annoying or got in the way of their roles. Some items are duplicated which made the decision of trying to remove them somewhat easier. An example was having to input a photocopier code for every document you wanted to print – 17 documents equals 17 code inputs. Removal of the code therefore frees up more time – we’re on our way to begin aggregating those margins with the hope of massive gains!!!! I’m only a third of the way through this entertaining book so it must have had an impact to make me proactive before even finishing!
This may of course seem whimsical or petty, but I really believe that (along with Dave Brailsford) controlling or changing lots of small things will indeed make a HUGE difference. We are at the beginning of our journey to allow us ot be focussed on what we are good at, doing more of it and being the best we can be – whether that be teachers, team leaders, parents, spouses or friends. Was I inspired? Yes, without a doubt.
As an addendum to this post that was also recently tweeted, I was signposted by @ictevangelist (many thanks) to the fabuloUs blog of Zoe Elder @fullonlearning http://marginallearninggains.com/ – much more excellent reading ahead…