18 Sep How 1% compounds brand valueReading Time: 3 minutes
You know the power of compounding. When you reinvest the interest on your investment, your return grows over time.
Atomic Habits author James Clear discussed compound return of 1% habits at his Growth Faculty event in Melbourne this week. Describing how a daily 1% improvement in a habit will compound to roughly 37% over a year.
I’m not a maths person. However, I often see the power of small things done repeatedly, leading to bigger results. It all lives in the unheroic work I encourage you to embrace. And one reason is when a shift starts to happen. It doesn’t stop with one thing. There’s a halo effect.
For example, research shows that people who take supplements daily are more likely to lead healthier lives.
In my life, the reverse also shows up. When one of my daily practices falls away, it becomes much easier to ditch others. If I start the day checking the news and diving down the rabbit hole of calamity, I’m much less likely to feed my thinking with books or sit and write.
Ok, back in org land. A brand is a store of value created by everything you do, fed by keeping promises and people’s experiences. So, looking for places where you can incrementally invest what you commit or how you meet expectations adds up.
Here are a couple of 1% ideas from the frontlines of recent experiences working with and buying from organisations.
Take 10 seconds
A short pause before you commit to something. Giving your brain and other agreements time to catch up with your desire to please. Saying yes is easy. To a meeting. Helping out on a project. Fixing an easy problem for someone.
The future cost of those things isn’t front of mind in the moment. But it sure is when the bill arrives, and I’m scrambling to do everything I already have on my plate and keep those new promises, cursing all the way.
Here’s where 10 seconds before you say yes (or no) kicks in. An ultimate 1% hack, saving untold pain and dings to your relationships and reputation. Which are power multipliers, stacking value like goods in an Amazon warehouse during the holidays.
Do something unexpected (now and then)
Lost in the hype of delighting people is the dirty secret that you can only delight me by doing something unexpected — the literal definition of delight. And even if you’ve done the right thing and been super explicit about what I should expect, you still can’t know what I’m thinking.
Enter the 1%. Grabbing hold of the unexpected gift presented when I tip my hand with something I want. Because then you can jump in and do a little bit extra. But this one comes with a warning label. Do more sparingly.
Experience is the highway trafficking value into the brand. This 1% accelerates those returns. But what I experience has a sneaky way of becoming what I expect next time. Which can leave you with nowhere to go when you add chocolates and flowers to everything.
Ping your values
A lot of things help to accumulate value in the brand. Values are a foundation element. They’re how you do things. And to paraphrase an old Zen saying, ‘how you do anything is how you do everything’.
Whether you have written your values down or not, you have them. So, even if they’re only a glimmer wrapped in your day-to-day activity, try this 1% for outsize returns.
Take one decision a day (limit to one) and think about how it reflects your values put to work. Maybe you contacted a colleague you haven’t spoken to for too long. Perhaps you decided to do some research. Or, take that next meeting as a walk and talk. Did the activity put your values to work? How did it connect? What do you need to change or do differently next time if it didn’t?
In adding value to the brand stakes, honouring values sits near the top of any list of things impacting future results. So, even tiny habits to help you be more mindful are worth cultivating.
To recap. See if you can find a place to improve by 1%. It can be something you start or stop. But keep it small because even tiny shifts will sap energy.
Also, avoid the temptation to treat 1% changes like those dessert bites on the event lunch table. If one is yum, then two … well, you know how that ends. You feel queasy, and the rest of the day goes out the window in a sugar coma.
Can you find a 1% to try today?