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One of the ways in which organisations deny their authenticity and their creativity is by benchmarking themselves against successful companies. They try to be like the companies they benchmark themselves against by adopting their practices.

In my opinion, this does not honour the authenticity of an organisation. Understanding the principles about how other people are solving the same problems that you are also facing is beneficial: but then you need to take those principles and apply them in your own unique way.  

I think of it like this. Every organisation, like every individual on the planet, is uniquely different. What is important is to build on that uniqueness not destroy it. For this reason, benchmarking doesn’t make much sense at a personal level, nor does it make much sense at an organisational level.

In an interview with McKinsey’s Allen Webb, Chip Heath, author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, states: 

I won’t say there’s no value in benchmarking. But if you believe that organisations differ in their cultures, capabilities, and structures, there’s something fundamentally odd about saying that you want to be more like another company that has a very different culture, structure, and set of capabilities.


  • References

TNLP References

Chapter 19: Organisational Mastery