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The 1% Solution

by Randall Craig on May 2, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

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Nowadays, very few people get excited about collecting pennies. This isn’t particularly surprising: even after finding 100 of them, you can’t even buy a coffee at your local Starbucks. Unfortunately, this attitude of ignoring the pennies causes us to think of ALL “small” things as not making a material difference.

Some small things DO actually make a difference. Consider: what if a surgeon only did 99% of their surgeries correctly? Or a pilot landed the airplane safely only 99 times out of 100? As the patient on the operating room table, or the passenger on the plane, that particular one percent is very material indeed!

On the other hand, what would happen if we looked for a 1% improvement in ourselves each day? Simple math suggests that in about 3 months, we will be twice as good as when we started!

Whether you are a perfectionist (like the surgeon or pilot), or are keen on continuous improvement, these “pennies” do add up and increase your value as an employee.

This week’s action item: Choose an aspect of your current job, and write down one week’s worth of 1% improvements. Then each day, “add” a new improvement to your daily schedule. The next week, choose another aspect of your job, and repeat.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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