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You Can Improve a Thousand Little Things by 1%

by Adrian Swinscoe | shared from SME-Blog

I like quotes because they can take a whole heap of learning and experience and deliver it in a few powerful words.

So, as part of my posts here going forward, I thought I’d share a few quotes with you and what I think they mean.


Here’s one I really like:

“You cannot improve one thing by 1000% but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%.” — Jan Carlzon

Jan Carlzon was the CEO of the SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines) from 1981 – 1994 and turned around the airline from one of the industry’s worst performers to one of its best. In doing so he revolutionized the airline industry through an unrelenting focus on customer service quality.

Now, this quote is not just about customer service. It applies to business improvement and business in general whether it is your products or your service you want to improve, how you keep in touch with customers, how you tailor your approach to them etc etc.

In essence, all Jan Carlzon is saying is that a series of small changes can add up to a whole lot.

He’s not alone in this belief. Just ask Dave Brailsford and his cycling teamwho performed amazingly well at the recent London Olympics and the Tour de France.

Dave has a saying similar to Jan’s and says that their world beating performance is based on “an aggregation of a series of marginal gains”.

It is his mantra and the team’s philosophy all rolled into one.

And it should be yours too.

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