I touched on this subject in a recent blog post “Why it’s no longer business as usual” but thought it was worth a more in-depth look.
Generally businesses have tended to try and improve performance by emulating the systems and processes of the top companies in their respective markets with some even looking at how the best performing businesses in other sectors, perform.
By benchmarking performance against “best in class” businesses have been able to monitor their own progress against a known set of criteria.
There are a couple of potential issues with this approach:
- Firstly, what works for others might not work for you and trying to shoehorn those systems and processes into your own business might not be the best approach.
- Secondly, in a world where successful businesses are striving to be different, running and promoting your business in a similar way to every other business in your sector may be stifling creativity and creating a homogeneous mass of me too businesses.
So what’s the best way forward?
Rather than trying to replicate the operational performance of other businesses, making your client or customer the focus of your attention may reap dividends.
Having an in-depth understanding of the needs and wants of your audience will enable you to change, modify or introduce new systems and processes and develop products and services that your customers and prospects desire and could lead you towards a profitable direction that following a best practice approach would have blocked.
In the process you may become a leader rather than a follower.