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  • Writer's pictureMichael Williams

Transformation Success using the "Marginal Gains" Philosophy and Modern Way of Working

3 cyclists in the velodrome

Forbes reports that over 90% of start-ups fail whilst McKinsey & Co states that over 70% of business transformations fail.

If you are a start-up or an organisation thinking about or actively undergoing a transformation right now, that’s not a very comforting read. Unless of course, you know the solution for the start-up failure and transformation failure conundrum, i.e. what needs to be done and how to do it.

Being successful in the digital era demands agility and adaptability. Businesses need to move faster, innovate smarter, and access the best talent to stay ahead. Traditional work models, however, are too rigid and slow things down. Enter the modern way of working, a game-changer for businesses.

Looking ahead to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, we all know that athletes and teams will have changed things up and prepared well to gain a competitive edge. And to the same extent, there are a lot of crucial lessons from previous games that businesses can also learn.

Captain and athlete cheering in the velodrome.

One such example is the dominance of Team GB's cycling squad in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics.Under Sir Dave Brailsford's leadership, they transformed from underdogs to gold medal machines. Their secret? An unrelenting focus on marginal gains – a philosophy of optimising every single aspect of performance, no matter how small.

Today’s business world is no different. It’s fiercely competitive and success hinges on constant improvement and strategic differentiation. Traditional, rigid approaches simply can't keep pace with the rapid evolution of technology and market dynamics.

The New Way of Working: Your Competitive Edge

Just like Team GB cyclists meticulously honed every detail, from equipment to training methods, businesses need to embrace the modern approach to talent acquisition to unlock a powerful competitive advantage.

It’s time to think of talent like leasing a car rather than owning: Leasing enables you to get the best and most up-to-date vehicle available for your specific purpose, the exact features you need, for the specific time you require them, bypassing the cost of ownership.

Embrace the Modern Way of Working and Unleash Your Potential

Just like Sir Dave Brailsford transformed Team GB cycling into a powerhouse, the modern way of working empowers businesses to become champions. By focusing on differentials, assembling the perfect team, and maximising "marginal gains," you can unlock a new level of performance and propel your business transformation forward.

Formula 1 pit crew doing a change over

  • Assembling Your Dream Team: 

Imagine having access to a global network of highly skilled and experienced professionals – specialists who can be brought in for specific projects or phases of your transformation journey. This allows you to create the perfect "dream team" with the precise expertise needed to achieve your goals.

  • The Power of "Marginal Gains": 

These temporary or interim hires – akin to the cycling team's specialised coaches and technicians – bring fresh perspectives and cutting-edge knowledge. By harnessing their expertise, you can identify and implement those crucial "marginal gains" that propel your business forward, just like Team GB's meticulous optimisations on everything from bike setups to sleep routines.

  • Agility and Adaptability: 

The modern way of working fosters a dynamic and adaptable talent pool. You can scale your team up or down as needed, ensuring you always have the right resources for the job without the burden of fixed overhead costs.

For Businesses: Accessing the "Perfect Fit" Faster

In the past, finding the right talent often meant lengthy recruitment processes and compromises. The modern way of working flips the script. Businesses can now:

  • Tap into a global talent pool: Access a wider range of highly skilled individuals beyond geographical limitations.

  • Find the perfect fit: Match specific project needs with specialised expertise, ensuring optimal results.

  • Gain Diversity of Thought and Innovation: Embrace fresh perspectives and innovative approaches by working with a wider range of talent. This often leads to ground-breaking ideas and a more dynamic working environment.

  • Scale up or down seamlessly: Increase or decrease your workforce based on project requirements. Optimise resource allocation, maximise resource efficiency and avoid the burden of fixed overhead costs.

  • Get started quicker: Bypass lengthy traditional hiring processes and onboard talent faster. This empowers you to move faster, capitalise on opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition.

Get a fast start - “ The first leg of a relay is as important as the last”

Two women passing a baton in a relay

The modern way of working means:

  • You can be sure that you have identified the industry leading talent that is a perfect fit for your business and project in a fraction of the time of normal recruitment.


  • Your full team is rapidly onboard, and your critical initiative is accelerating ahead whilst your competitors are still in their starting blocks several weeks behind you.


  • You have the necessary scalability flexibility to maximise your resource efficiency.


  • You have a true resource partner that directly provides subject matter knowledge and supports you and your initiative with a wealth of industry expertise.

All this adds up to resourcing that is over 30% more effective, will deliver and enable you to achieve your objectives faster than your traditional resourcing and ensure you achieve a faster ROI and greater benefits for your business.

The New Way of Working in Action:

Imagine needing a team of business transformation professionals for a crucial project. Traditionally, you'd initiate a lengthy recruitment process, finding and recruiting 1 or maybe a few people at a time.

Pit crew for formula one car

The modern way of working allows you to instantly tap directly into a skilled network of experienced freelance transformation programme professionals and rapidly assemble a perfect-fit team you can use either to complement the existing in-house team or to work alongside them separately on a specific aspect for the project duration. This enables businesses to gain early cost benefits and achieve their goals faster and more efficiently.

By partnering directly with the Subject Matter Expert professionals who do the work, you have fast access to the skills and knowledge you need. This also means you can quickly upscale and downscale resource as you need to.

Any skills and knowledge transfer across from temporary to permanent resource is also much simpler and easier using this way of working, as is faster off-boarding of temporary resource when the time comes.

Embrace the Future of Work:

The new way of working isn't just a trend; it's the future of work. By embracing this approach, you will not only equip your business with the flexibility, agility, and access to top talent needed to thrive in today’s fast changing digital landscape, but you’ll also put distance between you and your competitors.

The modern way of working isn't just the future, it's the present. If you are ready to be part of the win-win revolution, reach out to Eight Eights today!





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