Are you benchmarking yourself into oblivion?
Breaking free from the blinders of strategy
Before you start your next benchmarking project, check out these best practices for savvier benchmarking. By Suvi Nenonen and Kaj Storbacka.
When you are revising your strategy or launching a new product, it pays to benchmark – right? Surely following proved best practices will help you to gain superior results?
True enough, clever and creative benchmarking can be a powerful strategic tool. But too often we see benchmarking exercises that are executed mechanically – or worse still, considered as snake oil to all strategic ailments. So, before you start your next benchmarking project, check out these best practices for savvier benchmarking (pardon the pun).
From market leader to market leadership
To be successful in today’s disrupted business reality, managers must learn to break free from the restraints of textbook strategies and look beyond the blinders of products, competition and company boundaries
All of us have blind spots in our ability to see what goes on around us.
There is a whole science about the cognitive biases that impede good judgment and cause us to make questionable decisions. Examples of these are confirmation bias – the tendency to only accept ideas and perspectives that support our existing views – and frequency illusion – you buy a red car and suddenly you notice red cars everywhere.
The Perfect Pitch
“The markets are not what they used to be.” This statement by a CEO of a large New Zealand company illustrates the obvious fact: markets are less predictable, more complex, and increasingly dynamic. A market leader today may be gone tomorrow and a firm that did not exist seven years ago is now disrupting markets globally (think Uber).
So, how to cope with this relentless market change that only seems to be gaining speed? Interestingly, many companies – especially entrepreneur-driven ones – are turning to very unlikely source for managerial guidance: Mahatma Gandhi. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” has been quoted to us too many times to be just a coincidence.
Everyone is a salesperson. Regardless if you are self-employed or working for a large corporate, people at all organisational levels are pitching for something.
The objectives of these pitches vary dramatically – raising capital for a new venture, rallying troops to implement a new strategy, proposing a new development project, asking clients to try out a new product – but in essence, they are all the same. You are asking someone to commit resources (money, time, emotional energy, people) to an uncertain future. So, what should you keep in mind when you next pitch your version of the future?