Benchmarking has been a buzzword for 4 to 5 a long time now. It got here into its personal within the years when TQM (Total Quality Management) was the one gospel fact on easy methods to turn into one of the best. The Japanese had taken over the world and for America and Western Europe to catch up; they wanted to benchmark one of the best of what the Japanese have been doing. And who propounded and proceed to propound these concepts? You guess proper, the large boys: BCG, Bain, Accenture, PWC, McKinsey, KPMG, Deloitte, Gemini and the remainder of them.
Benchmarking 101 merely says get all of the metrics how your finest competitor is doing and evaluate to your efficiency. Wherever you carry out worse, that is the hole. Pronto you’ve got cracked the code. Take speedy motion to shut the hole and you’ll be pretty much as good as them (your competitor) and even leap frog them. They backed up their shows with elegant two by two graphs (course of visuals as Alan Weiss calls them) and CEOs on the lookout for ever dearer fast fixes would bounce on the suggestions and their treasuries can be the poorer for it.
Tell me, if benchmarking is actually this cure-it-all antidote to lackluster efficiency (the large boys would deny they mentioned it was a cure-it-all), how come Kodak didn’t benchmark its solution to survival? How come Nokia couldn’t benchmark its solution to success and beat again Apple and Samsung? What of Motorola that invented the mobile phone know-how and Xerox that taught the world easy methods to copy? Why could not the bluest of the blue, with all its technological wizardry do it, and needed to ship John Akers to the labour market? Beware, the elephant can’t dance except and till it decides to bop by altering its genetic code.
So listed here are the highest three the explanation why you must by no means contact benchmarking with a ten-foot pole in the event you actually wish to be nice, break new mould and render the competitors irrelevant.
1. Benchmarking ignores the tradition of the higher performing group
This is the mom of all the explanation why benchmarking is a deadly flaw. Assuming you are Intel and the Japanese are consuming your lunch, what do you do? Do you go on a retreat and benchmark the Japanese to blow them out of the water? Do you name a town-hall assembly to sensitize everybody in regards to the Japanese’s risk and rapidly type fast motion groups (QATs) to benchmark the Japanese to organize the way in which on your wonderful comeback? Do you ship your prime executives to Harvard to be taught benchmarking at its finest to be able to type a groundswell motion that might make you invincible in a single day? No! No!! No!!! You do what Andy Grove, Robert Noyce (and Gordon Moore) did. You hearth yourselves and begin yet again. Remember, solely the paranoid survive. You can’t beat the Japanese in head-to-head fight as a result of the cultures are totally different. Period! Have you not heard that tradition will eat technique for breakfast?
2. Benchmarking appears on the future with the rear-view mirror
Assuming you are IBM and you are the world’s most admired firm and teased because the Big Blue, and also you hear two small boys are fiddling of their mom’s storage and so they say they wish to topple IBM. Do you postpone your board assembly and ship spies to see what the boys are as much as or do you benchmark? Benchmark what? Benchmark Apple I or Apple II or iMac that do not but exist? The Big Boys would deny they ever mentioned that you must benchmark beneath such circumstances. But did not they are saying benchmarking was the alpha and omega of the aggressive instruments? You won’t ever see the longer term together with your rear-view mirror even in the event you’re a magician. The fact is, when there may be disruption (air journey disrupted sea journey, laptop disrupted typewriter, gun disrupted bow and arrow, and many others.), every thing is reset to zero so no quantity of benchmarking can prevent. We dwell in an age of discontinuity, due to Peter Drucker, and when discontinuity catches up with you and your business, benchmarking is foolhardiness of the best order.
3. Benchmarking ignores important considering and can’t aid you invent the longer term
The finest solution to personal tomorrow is to invent it. Benchmarking can’t aid you do this. Benchmarking is definitely antithetical to reinvention. The most revolutionary innovations of our time have been or are by no means the merchandise of benchmarking however important considering. Think of merchandise as mundane (now) as paper, post-it-note and light-weight bulb, to say three. These issues by no means existed earlier than till folks’s creativeness introduced them to be. To invent the longer term, you begin with a clear slate. You ask easy questions like, “why does this work matter?”, “what purpose does it serve?”, “why this (and not that?” These form of questions allow you assume critically, go deep and invent tomorrow whereas others are busy benchmarking and taking part in catch-up with the supposedly finest corporations.
There you will have them, the three the explanation why benchmarking needs to be prevented because the plaque: benchmarking ignores the tradition of the higher performing group, benchmarking appears on the future with the rear-view mirror, and benchmarking ignores important considering and can’t aid you invent and reinvent the longer term.
If you look intently, benchmarking is on the coronary heart of the so-called, worldwide finest observe(s) in industries throughout the globe and who’re the proponents of those “best-of-class” idea? The large consulting powerhouses! At finest, let me concede, benchmarking may also help you make small incremental (additive) progress, however that isn’t what you want. What you want is exponential (geometric) progress. Now that you’ve got learn the highest three the explanation why you must by no means do benchmarking, do not waste time with benchmarking. For any new mission you wish to provoke, begin with a clear slate. Yes, reinvent the wheel. Remember, Apple reinvented the cellphone with the iPhone, Starbucks reinvented espresso homes, and you’ll reinvent yours. Go and do it.