Thursday, 31 May 2012

The 80:20 Rule!

How do we create great schools for every child, every young person and every community? Personally, I passionately believe that the answers lie in creative learning organisations built on beautiful systems, deep research, intelligent accountability and the importance of discipline and character. 

I have known this for years and I constantly wrestle with the fact that in so many of our learning places we haven't cracked it! I was reading about the 80:20 rule and it made me think about how we might simplify and focus what we are doing to achieve brilliant outcomes.

The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many(80 percent) are trivial. In Pareto's case it meant 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the wealth. In Juran's work he identified 20 percent of the defects causing 80 percent of the problems. Project Managers know that 20 percent of the work (the first 10 percent and the last 10 percent) consume 80 percent of your time and resources. You can apply the 80/20 Rule to almost anything, from the science of management to the physical world.  
Looking at it another way, 80% of what you achieve in your life comes from 20% of the time you spend doing it. Just think about it... the rule suggests that what you achieve in one day of your working week delivers 4 days of your results. If we could capture what that magic day was all about and increase how often it happens our outcomes would go through the roof. We need 'brilliant learning and brilliant leadership' driving our efforts to go from good to great to excellent and focus on learning-centred leadership, learning organisations and learning classrooms.

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