The 80/20 Principle Book Synopsis

Today’s episode of PT Reading Corner will take a look at The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch. The author believes that when you divide the world into causes and results, there are a few causes which pave the way for most of the results. This phenomenon is called the 80/20 principle, relatable to the Pareto principle, which states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Koch himself is a former entrepreneur involved in various businesses such as the LEK consulting firm, Betfair and Plymouth Gin. Essentially, this book focuses on the fact that anyone can achieve extraordinary results without putting in an extraordinary effort.


Here are a few lessons from the book:


1) Focus on the Most In-Demand Goods and Services


According to Koch, the most important thing any business can optimize is the product range. When conducting his own research, Koch found that some businesses derived over 50% of their profit from the top 3 products. Therefore, focusing efforts on the other 30 products would be a fruitless endeavour compared to optimizing the top 3 products. A great example is Steve Jobs. When he returned to Apple in 1997, the company had hundreds of products. However, he reduced the number of products by more than 70% and in turn, the company made millions of dollars. For clinic owners, it’s important to understand the primary source(s) of your clinic’s success. If your clinic provides vestibular and pelvic physiotherapy, but they only account for 1% of your total revenue, spending an exorbitant amount of time to market these services isn’t a great idea. Instead, Koch would rather have you spend time looking at the services that provide the lion’s share of your revenue and optimize those.


2) "Lazy Intelligence"


Koch says that contrary to popular belief, it is okay to be lazy. He mentions the story of General Von Manstein, who found that his best soldiers tended to be the ones that were both intelligent, but lazy. Similarly, Koch states that in today’s world, we need to utilize that concept of “lazy intelligence”. We have to focus on improving at tasks that come easy to us, rather than choosing a difficult goal that may or may not achieve success. For physiotherapists, this means that while you should always be looking for ways to improve your skills, it is important to be able to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Rather than spending countless hours working on weaknesses and trying to become a very good well-rounded physio, devote that time on mastering your strengths as a clinician. There is a caveat though. If your weakness is a crucial skill such as developing patient rapport, then you definitely want to spend time actively improving that aspect of your care to improve your results.


The 80/20 principle is a great book which helps to serve as a how-to guide on escaping the modern rat race and achieving one’s hopes and dreams. We, at PT Business Corner

, hope you enjoy the read and we would like to thank Dr. Cameron Marshall for recommending this book!



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