Another way to think about the 100 Marbles metaphor comes from Getting Things Done author, David Allen: “If you were to quit your job and go out and start a company that would put yours out of business, what would you do differently in your new company?”
Pausing to think about this hypothetical situation reveals giant opportunities for improvement. By looking at our company (or non-profit, or department, or team, or marriage!) through the eyes of an imaginary, cut-throat competitor who knows our operations inside and out, we’re suddenly able to name our areas of greatest weakness and vulnerability. Miraculously, the steps required to take a quantum leap become obvious. And we realize that not reallocating our “100 marbles” to respond to the savviest competitor imaginable is sheer, self-sabotaging insanity.
(note: You can read my original “100 Marbles” article at Lifehack.org by clicking here)