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Friday, 5 August 2011

England's Cricket win is no accident!

Cricket fans are on a high at the moment after the England team's outstanding win! This success is no accident: it is down to a careful strategy that many business leaders would be jealous of.

You may have noticed that bowlers like to polish the ball before they bowl, and you assumed correctly that this improves the bowling. The England team pass the ball to Alistair Cook and he, not the bowler, is the one to do the polishing. Why? This is not random, he was chosen because he has the least sweaty palms and so is the best ball polisher! This is impressive attention to detail.

The strategy underlying this they call the “incremental accretion of marginal gains.” In other words they look for a little change that will make a big difference. They keep doing that, and then look for another little change to make. Over time (some ten years or more in the case of England's cricket team) this makes a big difference.

My business name - Finding True North - flows from the knowledge that when you use a compass for navigation you find direction based on magnetic north. Similarly, the small adjustment for true north can make a big difference, particularly over long distances such as when sailing at sea.

So, what applies in sport applies in business leadership and I'd be happy to chat to people who want to find the small changes that will make a big difference to their results.

More background from Telegraph Sports.

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